This is a small, slow growing, pretty little date palm, which is locally common from sea-level to 1000 m elevation on sea cliffs, hills, dunes, and grassland, always near the coast in Taiwan. The species tolerates coastal conditions better than any other date palm, and can be grown in coastal locations in the South West of the British Isles.
In Taiwan this is only known as Phoenix hanceana. We must stress that the botanically correct name for this species is Phoenix loureiroi var. loureiroi. We have added sp. formosana as a means to identify this provenance horticulturally as originating from the Island of Taiwan. The species in the Philippines (syn. Phoenix hanceana var. philippinensis) is only found on Sabtang Island, and a small population on Batan Island in the Batanes Is. at the far north of the Philippines. It is most probable that this species reached the Batanes Is. through human introduction from Taiwan.
Native to, Taiwan
Locally common in the south of Taiwan. Growing on steep coastal hillsides from sea-level rising to at least 1000m above sea-level, where they stand up to severe coastal winds. Distribution was clearly much wider in the past. Becoming more widely planted throughout Taiwan as an ornamental street tree. Planting is often alongside plantings of Phoenix sylvestris, where hybridization does not seem to occur, as flowering times do not overlap.