Phoenix roebelenii is a small to medium-sized, slow-growing slender tree growing to 2–7 metres (6.6–23.0 ft) tall. The leaves are 60–120 cm (24–47 in) long, pinnate, with around 100 leaflets arranged in a single plane (unlike the related P. loureiroi where the leaflets are in two planes). Each leaflet is 15–25 cm (6–10 in) long and 1 cm broad, slightly drooping, and grey-green in colour with scurfy pubescence below. The flowers are small, yellowish, produced on a 45 cm (18 in) inflorescence. The fruit is an edible 1 cm drupe resembling a small, thin-fleshed date.