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Editing by edric. [3], Date trees typically reach about 21–23 metres (69–75 ft) in height,[7] growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Wet soil is required for seed germination and hot sun for ripening of the fruit. Baluchistan, lowland Khuzistan, and the southern base of the Zagros Range facing the Persian Gulf, in particular, were identified by Werth (1955) and Zohary & Hopf (1988) as areas supporting populations of 'wild dates'. Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants. Historical records report date palm cultivation by the Sumerians as early as 3000 BC in present-day southern Iraq (Nixon 1951). Vinegar made from dates was a traditional product of the Middle East. Local studies aside, there have been no attempts to construct a workable, consistent infraspecific classification for P. dactylifera. The primary use of date palms is, of course, their nutritious fruit which is eaten fresh, dried or processed as one of a wide-range of date products. [45], The caffeic acid glycoside 3-O-caffeoylshikimic acid (also known as dactylifric acid) and its isomers, are enzymic browning substrates found in dates. In 2009, a team of researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar published a draft version of the date palm genome (Khalas variety). Majorca Island. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'); semi-dry (e.g. Many animals are involved in dispersal of wild dates, as is the case with most palms (Zona & Henderson 1989). Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Genus: Phoenix L. Phoenix dactylifera L. This species is accepted, and its native range is Arabian Peninsula to S. Pakistan. It will tolerate frosts down to about -10°C but only for brief periods, and cannot tolerate cold wet winter weather as well as P. canariensis; this makes cultivation outdoors in e.g. Photo by Dr. T. Upsom, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb. Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. It does well at the coast as well as inland desert areas with regular water. Stem to 30 m tall, without leaf sheaths to about 40 - 50 cm in diam. Photo by Troy Donovan, Menton, French Côte d'Azur, France. Beccari (1890) looked to ecology to solve questions of date palm origins. Compositional and Sensory Characteristics of Three Native Sun-Dried Date ( Phoenix dactylifera L.) Varieties Grown in Oman It needs room for growth and should not be planted too closely to a structure or home. Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane, Australia. Theophrastus in his Enquiry into Plants (370 - 285 BC, see Hort 1916) was an early observer of the remarkable resistance of date palms to salinity, 'wherever date palms grow abundantly, the soil is salt, both in Babylon, they say, where the tree is indigenous, in Libya, in Egypt and in Phoenicia'. The ability of R dactylifera to thrive in hot, dry conditions with little or no rain, as long as there is constant moisture about the roots for healthy growth and seed germination, have made it the classic symbol of the oasis. More recently, date palm cultivation has been established on a commercial level in California. [21], A genomic study from New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology showed that domesticated date palm varieties from North Africa, including well-known varieties such as Medjool and Deglet Nour, are a hybrid between Middle East date palms and the Cretan wild palm P. theophrasti. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the remainder consists of protein, fiber, and trace elements including boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. They are also used as ornamentation in the Feast of the Tabernacles. [20] The upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown. Martius (1823 - 1853) described seven varieties of P. dactylifera, and Beccari (1890) a further two, using only loosely defined fruit characters. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread. CULTIVATION. In addition to the fruit, vegetative parts of the date palm are put to many and diverse uses including building materials (leaves, trunks), fencing (leaves, midribs), thatch (leaves), rope (leaf sheath, leaflet and midrib fibres), fuel (all vegetative parts, but especially leaf- bases); packaging, padding and protection (leaf sheath fibre). Photo: phoenix-spain.org, Ojós, Murcia, southeastern Spain. The date palm is covered with old leaf bases. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats. Little Dungul, Egypt. Despite resistance to water-logging, date palms are very vulnerable to excess rainfall and high humidity. One of the best-known palms, Phoenix dactylifera (Date Palm) is a tall evergreen palm tree with a slender trunk topped with a crown of 100 - 120 gracefully arching, feather-like fronds that can reach 10-16 ft. in length (3-5 m). This is a cold hard palm that can tolerate cold temperatures down to 15F and will grow in the zone 8. [4][5][6] P. dactylifera is the type species of genus Phoenix, which contains 12–19 species of wild date palms, and is the major source of commercial production. Beccari (1890) understood the ecological characteristics of date palms as indicating that P. dactylifera originated in a hot, dry land where the ground was wet and saline. As an ornamental plant, it is however less attractive than many other palms, with sparser, more rigid foliage (less graceful) than the related Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix canariensis. Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm,[2] is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. The term 'variety' has not been clearly defined in respect to the date palm, and was used by Popenoe (1973) to refer to what I consider to be cultivars. As with landraces and cultivars of all crops, active cultivation is vital to survival and a cultivar is soon lost for ever if it is not regularly propagated. As a species, P. dactylifera cannot be considered threatened due to its extensive cultivation; however, positive conservation action may be necessary at the infraspecific level if diversity of date cultivars is to be maintained. Few of the hundreds of date palm cultivars have been formally described. 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