Tree 14-30 m. Stems slender, several, often single-stemmed as the result of cutting. Leaves with persistent bases, erect-arcuate, glabrous, glaucous; median segments 30-40 cm, rigid, apical segments 20-30 em. Flowering spikes ridged, glabrous. Staminate flowers creamy or golden-yellow, fragrant; sepals to 5 mm, fused at base; petals ovate, 7-9 mm, fleshy, apiculate; filaments short; anthers linear, c. 5 mm. Pistillate flowers unscented; sepals broadly ovate, 2 x 5 mm; petals 4 x 8 mm. Fruit ovoid-globose, 2.5-7.5 cm, reddish or orange-brown; mesocarp succulent, sweet, not fibrous. Seed 5-8 mm broad. Fl. 3-4. In parks and gardens.
Widely cultivated in N. Africa and Sahara, subtropical S.W. Asia, California, Arizona and Mexico for its edible fruits ; perhaps wild on Persian Gulf.