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a genus of plants of the family Palmae. The plants are low-growing (2–3 m), multiple-trunked or, less commonly, single-trunked (up to 6 m tall) palms having a crown of 30 to 35 fan-shaped leaves with spiny petioles. The small unisexual flowers, which are gathered in branching inflorescences, are pollinated by the wind. The fruit is a berry measuring about 1.5 cm across.
There are two species (according to other data, nine), distributed in North Africa and in the Western Mediterranean, from Spain to Sicily. There are several varieties of each species. The hemp palm (C. humilis) is the only palm species in Europe. The fiber from its leaves is used to stuff furniture and to manufacture twine and burlap. The hemp palm is grown as an ornamental. In the USSR it has been planted in parks on the southern coast of the Crimea and on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, where it tolerates short-term frosts (to –14°C) and regularly bears fruit.