Dwarf Palm

Nannorrhops ritchieana

Species name: Dwarf Palm
Scientific name: Nannorrhops ritchieana

Locally known as: Ghathaf

Description: The Dwarf Palm is slow growing, and takes several years to bear fruit even under the most ideal conditions, if at all. They have small, creamy-white flowers, which eventually grow into purplish dates.

IUCN status: Not evaluated.

Key threats: Habitat loss and over grazing.

Where they're found today: These plants are very rare. They are found along the west flank of the Hajar Mountains and only one individual of this species was ever recorded by EAD on Jabal Hafit, Al Ain.

Abu Dhabi’s efforts: EAD succeeded in propagating 50 Dwarf Palms, which is considered to be the one of the rarest and most threatened native plant species in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Fun facts:

  1. They were used for ropes for fishing nets because the fiber becomes stronger when wet.
  2. The wooly hair at the base of the leaves was used to dress wounds.
  3. The hard pips of the fruit were used in slingshots and sometimes even as substitutes for bullets.