Phoenix loureiroi

Phoenix loureiroi (commonly known as the mountain date palm, vuyavuy palm, or voyavoy palm,[2]) is a species of flowering plant in the palm family, indigenous to southern Asia, from the Philippines, Taiwan, India, southern Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and China.[3] It occurs in deciduous and evergreen forests and in clear terrain from sea level to 1,500 m altitude.[4]

Phoenix loureiroi
Phoenix loureiroi (Phoenix hanceana var. formosana) - National Taiwan University - DSC01165.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Phoenix
P. loureiroi
Binomial name
Phoenix loureiroi
  • Phoenix hanceana Naudin
  • Phoenix humilis Royle ex Becc. nom. illeg.
  • Phoenix ouseleyana Griff.
  • Phoenix pedunculata Griff.
  • Phoenix pusilla Lour. nom. illeg.
  • Phoenix pygmaea Raeusch. nom. inval.
  • Phoenix robusta (Becc.) Hook.f.
Phoenix loureiroi – Trunk
Closeup of trunk

Phoenix loureiroi is named after João de Loureiro; it was originally written by Kunth as "loureirii", but this is an error to be corrected to loureiroi under the provisions of the ICBN.[3]


Phoenix loureiroi contains solitary and clustering plants with trunks from 1–4 m high and 25 cm in width, usually covered in old leaf bases. The leaves vary to some degree but usually reach 2 m in length with leaflets wide at the base and sharply pointed apices. The leaflets emerge from the rachis at varying angles creating a stiff, plumose leaf.

The fruit is a single-seeded drupe, bluish-black when ripe, produced on erect, yellow inflorescences, usually hidden within the leaf crown. The species is noted for its variability in different habitats.[4]


There are two varieties,[3] based on the presence or absence of sclerotic, tannin-filled cells along the midribs and margins of leaflets:

  • Phoenix loureiroi var. loureiroi.
  • Phoenix loureiroi var. pedunculata (Griff.) Govaerts (syn. P. loureiroi var. humilis S.C.Barrow).

Cultural importanceEdit

Fibers from P. loureiroi var. loureiroi, known locally as "vuyavuy palm" (also spelled "voyavoy"), are used to make the distinctive vakul headgear and kanayi vests of the Ivatan people in the Batanes Islands of the northern Philippines.[5][6]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
  2. ^ Mandle, L.; Ticktin, T.; Nath, S.; Setty, S.; Varghese, A. (2013). "A framework for considering ecological interactions for common non-timber forest product species: a case study of mountain date palm (Phoenix loureiroi Kunth) leaf harvest in South India". Ecological Processes. 2 (21). doi:10.1186/2192-1709-2-21.
  3. ^ a b c "Phoenix loureiroi". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Riffle, Robert L. and Craft, Paul (2003) An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-558-6 / ISBN 978-0-88192-558-6 (pages 402-403)
  5. ^ "Phoenix Palm in Itbayat, Batanes". Connecting. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  6. ^ Madulid, Domingo A.; Agoo, Esperanza Maribel G. (2009). "Notes on the economic plants of Batanes: Citrus species and Phoenix loureiroi var. loureiroi". Bulletin of National Museum of Ethnology. 34 (1): 191–205. doi:10.15021/00003920.