Date Palm

Date Palm

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The date palm is a palm
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

 in the genus Phoenix
Phoenix (plant)
Phoenix is a genus of 14 species of palms, native from the Canary Islands east across northern and central Africa, the extreme southeast of Europe , and southern Asia from Turkey east to southern China and Malaysia. The diverse habitats they occupy include swamps, deserts, and mangrove sea coasts...

, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are 3–5 m long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

, with about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6 to 10 m.

Etymology


The species name dactylifera "date-bearing" comes from Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 dáktulos "date" (also "finger") and the stem of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 verb ferō "I bear".

History of dates


Dates have been a staple food
Staple food
A staple food is one that is eaten regularly and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a diet, and that supplies a high proportion of energy and nutrient needs. Most people live on a diet based on one or more staples...

 of the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 to prehistoric Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).

In later times, traders spread dates around South and South West Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, northern Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Dates were introduced into Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 by the Spaniards by 1765, around Mission San Ignacio
Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán
Mission San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando in 1728 at the site of the modern town of San Ignacio, Baja California Sur, Mexico....

.

A date palm cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

, known as Judean date palm
Judean date palm
The Judean date palm is a cultivar of the date palm .Prized for its beauty, shade, and medicinal properties, the cultivar was thought to have become extinct sometime around AD 150. However, in 2005, a preserved 2,000-year-old seed sprouted. It is the oldest known human-assisted germination of a seed...

 is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed
Orthodox seed
Orthodox seeds are seeds which will survive drying and/or freezing during ex-situ conservation. According to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture there is variation in the ability of orthodox seeds to withstand drying and storage with some seeds being more sensitive than others...

, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years. This particular seed is presently reputed to be the oldest viable seed
Oldest viable seed
-Carbon dated:*The oldest carbon-14-dated seed that has grown into a viable plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel. It was germinated in 2005...

 but the upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown.

Dates



The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is known as a date. The fruit's English name, as well as the Latin species name dactylifera, both come from the Greek word for "finger," dáktulos, because of the fruit's elongated shape. Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm diameter, and when unripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

 about 2–2.5 cm long and 6–8 mm thick. Three main cultivar group
Cultivar group
In naming cultivated plants, a Group is a formal classification category, under the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants :The term "Group" was introduced in the 2004 ICNCP, replacing the "Cultivar-group" of the 1995 ICNCP.A Group is united by some common trait; for example...

s of date exist: soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', 'Deglet Noor
Deglet Noor
Deglet Nour dates are a cultivar of date grown in Algeria and Tunisia.Deglet Nour is one of more than 100 varieties of dates...

', 'Zahdi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory'). The type of fruit depends on the glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

, fructose
Fructose
Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many plants. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion. Fructose was discovered by French chemist Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut in 1847...

 and sucrose
Sucrose
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose with the molecular formula...

 content.

The date palm is dioecious
Plant sexuality
Plant sexuality covers the wide variety of sexual reproduction systems found across the plant kingdom. This article describes morphological aspects of sexual reproduction of plants....

, having separate male and female plants. They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality. Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars. Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants.

Dates are naturally wind pollinated
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

 but in both traditional oasis
Oasis
In geography, an oasis or cienega is an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or similar water source...

 horticulture
Horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

 and in the modern commercial orchards they are entirely pollinated manually
Hand pollination
Hand pollination is a technique used when natural, or open pollination is insufficient or undesirable. The most common techniques are for crops such as cucurbits, which may exhibit poor pollination by fruit abortion, fruit deformity or poor maturation...

. Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants. However, with assistance, one male can pollinate up to 100 females. Since the males are of value only as pollinators, this allows the growers to use their resources for many more fruit producing female plants. Some growers do not even maintain any male plants as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time. Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on ladder
Ladder
A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be leaned against a vertical surface such as a wall, and rope ladders that are hung from the top. The vertical members of a rigid ladder are called stringers or stiles . Rigid ladders are usually...

s. In some areas such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber's back to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing. Less often the pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 may be blown onto the female flowers by a wind machine.


Parthenocarpic
Parthenocarpy
In botany and horticulture, parthenocarpy is the natural or artificially induced production of fruit without fertilization of ovules. The fruit is therefore seedless. Stenospermocarpy may also produce apparently seedless fruit, but the seeds are actually aborted while still small...

 cultivars are available but the seedless fruit is smaller and of lower quality.

Dates ripen in four stages, which are known throughout the world by their Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 names kimri (unripe), khlal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried). A 100 gram
Gram
The gram is a metric system unit of mass....

 portion of fresh dates is a source of vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

and supplies 230 kcal
Calorie
The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. It was first defined by Nicolas Clément in 1824 as a unit of heat, entering French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. In most fields its use is archaic, having been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule...

 (960 kJ
Joule
The joule ; symbol J) is a derived unit of energy or work in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy expended in applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre , or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second...

) of energy. Since dates contain relatively little water, they do not become much more concentrated upon drying, although the vitamin C is lost in the process.

Dates are an important traditional crop in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible. In Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic countries, dates and yogurt or milk are a traditional first meal when the sun sets during Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

. Dates (especially Medjool and Deglet Noor
Deglet Noor
Deglet Nour dates are a cultivar of date grown in Algeria and Tunisia.Deglet Nour is one of more than 100 varieties of dates...

) are also cultivated in southern California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 and southern Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and produce viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 to 10 years. Mature date palms can produce 80–120 kilograms (176–264 lb
Pound (mass)
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...

) of dates per harvest season, although they do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required. In order to get fruit of marketable quality, the bunches of dates must be thinned and bagged or covered before ripening so that the remaining fruits grow larger and are protected from weather and pests such as birds.

Cultivars of dates



A large number of date cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s are grown. The most important are:
  • Aabel — common in Libya.
  • Ajwah — from the town of Medina in Saudi Arabia, it is the subject of a famous Hadith
    Hadith
    The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

     of the Prophet Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

    .
  • Al-Barakah — from Saudi Arabia.
  • Amir Hajj or 'Amer Hajj' — from Iraq, these are soft with a thin skin and thick flesh, sometimes called "the visitor's date" because it is a delicacy served to guests.
  • 'Abid Rahim (Arabic: عبد رحيم‎), from Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    . In Nigeria it is called Dabino and used by Muslims to break their fast.
  • Barakawi (Arabic: بركاوي‎), from Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    .
  • Barhee or (barhi) (from Arabic barh, a hot wind) — these are nearly cylindrical, light amber to dark brown when ripe; soft, with thick flesh and rich flavour. One of the few varieties that are good in the khalal stage when they are yellow (like a fresh grape as opposed to dry, like a raisin).
  • Bireir (Arabic: برير‎) — from Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    .
  • Datça
    Datça
    Datça is a district of Muğla Province in south-west Turkey, and the center town of the district. The center is situated midway through the peninsula which carries the same name as the district and the town .-Geography:...

     Date - Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

  • Deglet Noor
    Deglet Noor
    Deglet Nour dates are a cultivar of date grown in Algeria and Tunisia.Deglet Nour is one of more than 100 varieties of dates...

     (Arabic: دڤلة النور 'date of light') — so named because the centre appears light or golden when held up to the sun. This is a leading date in Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

    , Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

    , the USA, and Tunisia
    Tunisia
    Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

    , and in the latter country it is grown in inland oases and is the chief export cultivar. It is semi-dry and not very sweet.
  • Derrie or 'Dayri' (the 'Monastery' date) — from southern Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     — these are long, slender, nearly black, and soft.
  • Empress — developed by the DaVall Family in Indio
    Indio, California
    Indio is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California's Colorado Desert region. It lies east of Palm Springs, east of Riverside, and east of Los Angeles. It is about north of Mexicali, Baja California on the U.S.-Mexican border...

     California USA from a seedling of 'Thoory'. It is large, and is softer and sweeter than 'Thoory'. It generally has a light tan top half and brown bottom half.
  • Fardh or Fard - common in Oman
    Oman
    Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

    , deep dark brown, tender skin, sweet flavor, small seed. Keeps well when well packed.
  • Ftimi or 'Alligue' — these are grown in inland oases of Tunisia.
  • Holwah (Halawi) (Arabic: 'sweet') — these are soft, and extremely sweet, small to medium in size.
  • Haleema — in Hoon, Libya (Haleema is a woman's name).
  • Hayany — from Egypt (Hayani) (Hayany is a man's name) — these dates are dark-red to nearly black and soft.
  • Iteema — common in Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

    .
  • Khajur — common in India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     / Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    .
  • Kenta — common in Tunisia
    Tunisia
    Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

    .


  • Khadrawy (Arabic: 'green') — a cultivar favoured by many Arabs, it is a soft, very dark date.
  • Khalasah (Arabic: 'quintessence') — one of the most famous palm cultivars in Saudi Arabia, famous for its sweetness level that is not high nor low, thus, suits most people. Its fruit is called 'Khlas'. Its famous place is 'Huffuf' (Al-Ahsa) and 'Qatif' in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia (Al-Sharqheyah).
  • Khastawi (Khusatawi, Kustawy) — this is the leading soft date in Iraq; it is syrupy and small in size, prized for dessert.
  • Maktoom (Arabic: 'hidden') — this is a large, red-brown, thick-skinned, soft, medium-sweet date.
  • Manakbir — a large fruit that ripens early.
  • Medjool or (Mejhool) (Arabic: 'unknown') — from Morocco
    Morocco
    Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

    , also grown in the USA, Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

    , Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    , the Palestinian territories
    Palestinian territories
    The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

     and Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    ; a large, sweet and succulent date.
  • Migraf (Mejraf) — very popular in Southern Yemen, these are large, golden-amber dates.
  • Mgmaget Ayuob — from Hoon, Libya.
  • Mishriq (Arabic: 'East' — مشرق)‎ — from Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

     and Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

    .
  • Mozafati — from Iran, where it is mainly grown in Kerman province, and often named "Bam (Mozafati) dates", after a city in that province. It is a dark, soft and sweet date of medium size. It is exceptionally well-suited for fresh consumption, because of its long shelf life. At a temperature of −5 degrees Celsius (23 °F) it can be kept for up to 2 years. It accounts for 10% of total Iranian date crop. (100,000 tons, of which 30% is exported).
  • Nabtat-seyf — in Saudi Arabia.
  • Rotab — from Iran, they are dark and soft.
  • Sag‘ai — from Saudi Arabia.
  • Saidy (Saidi) — soft, very sweet, these are popular in Libya.
  • Sayer
    Sayer
    Sayer is a surname, and may refer to:*George Sayer, English teacher and biographer*George Sayer , English politician, MP for Canterbury* Gerry Sayer * Guillaume Sayer* John William Sayer* Leo Sayer * Malcolm Sayer...

     (Sayir) (Arabic: 'common') — these dates are dark orange-brown, of medium size, soft and syrupy.
  • Sekkeri — (lit. sugary) (Arabic: سكري) Dark brown skin; distinctly sweet and soft flesh, from Saudi Arabia, it is the most expensive kind.
  • Sellaj — (Arabic: سلّج)in Saudi Arabia.
  • Tagyat — common in Libya.
  • Tamej — in Libya.
  • Thoory (Thuri) — popular in Algeria, this dry date is brown-red when cured with a bluish bloom and very wrinkled skin. Its flesh is sometimes hard and brittle but the flavour described as sweet and nutty.
  • Umeljwary — in Libya.
  • Umelkhashab — Brilliant red skin; bittersweet, hard white flesh (Saudi Arabia).
  • Zahidi (Arabic: '[Of the] ascetic') — these medium size, cylindrical, light golden-brown semi-dry dates are very sugary, and sold as soft, medium-hard and hard.
  • Zaghloul  -Dark red skin, long, and very crunchy when served fresh (as they invariably are), their sugar content is so high that it desiccates the mouth. The variety is essentially exclusive to Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

    , where it is subject to an element of nationalist sentiment (Saad Zaghloul being a major Egyptian national hero).


The Gaza Strip, especially Dier al Balah, "Village of Dates", is known for its exceptionally sweet red dates.
There are more than 100 known cultivars in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. It should be noted, however, that a cultivar can have several names depending on the locality.

Production



Top Twenty Dates Producers — 2009
(1000 metric tonnes)
1,350.00
1,088.04
1,052.40
735.28
759.00
600.70
507.00
339.30
278.59
160.10
145.00
140.00
72.00
56.76
37.79
25.28
22.19
21.60
20.00
18.78
World Total (more than) 7462.51
Source:
UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Food uses


Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

s, walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

s, candied orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

 and lemon
Lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

 peel
Peel (fruit)
Peel, also known as rind or skin, is the outer protective layer of a fruit or vegetable which could be peeled off. The rind is usually the botanical exocarp, but the term exocarp does also include the hard cases of nuts, which are not named peels since they are not peeled off by hand or peeler, but...

, tahini
Tahini
Tahini or sesame paste , is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. North African, Greek and West Asian tahini is made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds. East Asian sesame paste is made of unhulled seeds. The Arabic word tahin simply means flour.Tahini is a major component of hummus and...

, marzipan
Marzipan
Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Persipan is a similar, yet less expensive product, in which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels...

 or cream cheese
Cream cheese
Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting, white cheese with a high fat content. Traditionally, it is made from unskimmed milk enriched with additional cream....

. Pitted dates are also referred to as stoned dates. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajine
Tajine
A tajine, or tagine , is a dish from North Africa, that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed...

s (tagines) in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 to pudding
Pudding
Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but it can also be a savory dish.In the United States, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, though it may also refer to other types such as bread and rice pudding.In the United Kingdom and...

s, ka'ak
Ka'ak
Ka'ak or Kahqa is the Arabic word for "cake", and can refer to several different types of baked goods produced throughout the Arab world and the Near East.-Bread rings:...

 (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items. Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called "'ajwa", spread, date syrup or "honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

" called "dibs" or "rub" in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

 or alcohol
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

. Recent innovations include chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

.

Dates can also be dehydrated, ground and mixed with grain to form a nutritious stockfeed. Dried dates are fed to camels, horses and dogs in the Sahara. In northern Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, dates and pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s added to the native beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 are believed to make it less intoxicating.

Young date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh 300–400 grams. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

 for bread.

Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of dietary potassium. 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. The glycemic index
Glycemic index
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more...

 for three different varieties of dates are 35.5 (khalas), 49.7 (barhi) and 30.5 (bo ma'an).

In India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, North Africa, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, and Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

, date palms are tapped for the sweet sap
Plant sap
Sap is a fluid transported in xylem cells or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant. It transports water and nutrients throughout the plant....

, which is converted into palm sugar (known as jaggery
Jaggery
Jaggery is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar consumed in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It is a concentrated product of cane juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color...

or gur), molasses
Molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

 or alcoholic beverages. In North Africa the sap obtained from tapping palm trees is known as lāgbī. If left for a sufficient period of time (typically hours, depending on the temperature) lāgbī easily becomes an alcoholic drink. Special skill is required when tapping the palm tree so that it does not die.

In Southeast Spain (where a large date plantation exists including UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 protected Palmeral of Elche
Palmeral of Elche
The Palmeral of Elche is a plantation of palm trees in the Spanish province of Alicante...

) dates (usually pitted with fried almond) are served wrapped in bacon
Bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

 and shallow fried.

It is also used to make Jallab
Jallab
Jallab is a type of syrup popular in the Middle East made from carob, dates, grape molasses and rose water.In Syria, Palestine and Lebanon Jallab is very popular. It is made mainly of grape molasses and artificial coloring, then smoked with Arabic incense. It is usually sold with crushed ice and...

.

Other uses of the plant



Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. Their oil is suitable for use in soap and cosmetics. They can also be processed chemically as a source of oxalic acid
Oxalic acid
Oxalic acid is an organic compound with the formula H2C2O4. This colourless solid is a dicarboxylic acid. In terms of acid strength, it is about 3,000 times stronger than acetic acid. Oxalic acid is a reducing agent and its conjugate base, known as oxalate , is a chelating agent for metal cations...

. The seeds are also burned to make charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

 for silversmith
Silversmith
A silversmith is a craftsperson who makes objects from silver or gold. The terms 'silversmith' and 'goldsmith' are not synonyms as the techniques, training, history, and guilds are or were largely the same but the end product varies greatly as does the scale of objects created.Silversmithing is the...

s, and can be strung in necklaces. Date seeds are also ground and used in the manner of coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 beans, or as an additive to coffee.

Stripped fruit clusters are used as brooms. In Pakistan, a viscous, thick syrup made from the ripe fruits is used as a coating for leather bags and pipes to prevent leaking.

Date palm sap
Sap
Sap may refer to:* Plant sap, the fluid transported in xylem cells or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant* Sap , a village in the Dunajská Streda District of Slovakia...

 is used to make palm syrup
Palm syrup
Miel de palma is an edible sweet syrup produced from the sap of a number of palms. It is produced in the Canary Islands and coastal regions of South America.-Species:...

 and numerous edible products derived from the syrup.

Date palm leaves are used for Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

 in the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 religion. In North Africa, they are commonly used for making huts. Mature leaves are also made into mats, screens, baskets and fans. Processed leaves can be used for insulating board
Thermal insulation
Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

. Dried leaf petiole
Petiole (botany)
In botany, the petiole is the stalk attaching the leaf blade to the stem. The petiole usually has the same internal structure as the stem. Outgrowths appearing on each side of the petiole are called stipules. Leaves lacking a petiole are called sessile, or clasping when they partly surround the...

s are a source of cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

 pulp, used for walking sticks, brooms, fishing floats and fuel. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats. The leaves are also used as a lulav
Lulav
The Lulav is a closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the arba'ah minim used in the morning prayer services during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot...

 in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

.

Date palm wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

 is used for posts and rafters for huts; it is lighter than coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 and not very durable. It is also used for construction such as bridges and aqueducts, and parts of dhow
Dhow
Dhow is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Some historians believe the dhow was invented by Arabs but this is disputed by some others. Dhows typically weigh 300 to 500 tons, and have a...

s. Leftover wood is burnt for fuel.

Where craft traditions still thrive, such as in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, the palm tree is the most versatile of all indigenous plants, and virtually every part of the tree is utilized to make functional items ranging from rope and baskets to beehives
Beehive (beekeeping)
A beehive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species of the subgenus Apis live and raise their young. Natural beehives are naturally occurring structures occupied by honeybee colonies, while domesticated honeybees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary. These man-made...

, fishing boats, and traditional dwellings.

When Muslims break fast in the evening meal of Ramadan
Iftar
Iftar , refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is done right after Maghrib time...

, it is traditional to eat a date first.

Traditional medicinal uses




Dates have a high tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

 content and are used medicinally as a detersive (having cleansing power) and astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

 in intestinal
Intestine
In human anatomy, the intestine is the segment of the alimentary canal extending from the pyloric sphincter of the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine...

 troubles. As an infusion
Infusion
An infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with desired chemical compounds or flavors in water or oil.-History:The first recorded use of essential oils was in the 10th or 11th century by the Persian polymath Avicenna, possibly in The Canon of Medicine.-Preparation techniques:An infusion is very...

, decoction
Decoction
Decoction is a method of extraction, by boiling, of dissolved chemicals, or herbal or plant material, which may include stems, roots, bark and rhizomes. Decoction involves first mashing, and then boiling in water to extract oils, volatile organic compounds, and other chemical substances...

, syrup, or paste, dates may be administered for sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh
Catarrh
Catarrh is a disorder of inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways or cavities of the body. It can result in a thick exudate of mucus and white blood cells caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes in the head in response to an infection...

, and taken to relieve fever
Fever
Fever is a common medical sign characterized by an elevation of temperature above the normal range of due to an increase in the body temperature regulatory set-point. This increase in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and shivering.As a person's temperature increases, there is, in...

 and a number of other complaints. One traditional belief is that it can counteract alcohol intoxication
Drunkenness
Alcohol intoxication is a physiological state that occurs when a person has a high level of ethanol in his or her blood....

. The seed powder is also used in some traditional medicines. Because of their laxative quality, dates are considered to be good at preventing constipation
Constipation
Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. Constipation is a common cause of painful defecation...

.

A gum that exudes from the wounded trunk is employed in India for treating diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

 and genito-urinary
Urinary system
The urinary system is the organ system that produces, stores, and eliminates urine. In humans it includes two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra.-Kidney:...

 ailments. The roots are used against toothache. The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 yields an estrogen
Estrogen
Estrogens , oestrogens , or œstrogens, are a group of compounds named for their importance in the estrous cycle of humans and other animals. They are the primary female sex hormones. Natural estrogens are steroid hormones, while some synthetic ones are non-steroidal...

ic principle, estrone
Estrone
Estrone is an estrogenic hormone secreted by the ovary as well as adipose tissue.Estrone is one of several natural estrogens, which also include estriol and estradiol...

, and has a gonadotropic
Gonadotropin
Gonadotropins are protein hormones secreted by gonadotrope cells of the pituitary gland of vertebrates. This is a family of proteins, which include the mammalian hormones follitropin , lutropin , placental chorionic gonadotropins hCG and eCG and chorionic gonadotropin , as well as at least two...

 effect on young rats.

Diseases



Date Palms are susceptible to a disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

 called Bayoud disease, which is caused by the fungus
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 Fusarium oxysporum
Fusarium oxysporum
Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht. as emended by Snyder and Hansen comprises all the species, varieties and forms recognized by Wollenweber and Reinking within an infrageneric grouping called section Elegans...

. This disease, which kills many of the popular older cultivars like 'Deglet Noor
Deglet Noor
Deglet Nour dates are a cultivar of date grown in Algeria and Tunisia.Deglet Nour is one of more than 100 varieties of dates...

', has led to a major decline in production where it is present, notably Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and western Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

. However, new cultivars resistant to the disease are being developed.

Date palm genome


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).

See also

  • Cretan Date Palm
    Cretan Date Palm
    Phoenix theophrastii, the Cretan Date Palm, is a palm native to the eastern Mediterranean, with a very restricted distribution, confined in southern Greece, some places in Turkey coast and a few sites on Crete, and other islands.-Overview:...

  • Date and walnut loaf
    Date and walnut loaf
    Date and walnut loaf is a traditional cake eaten in Britain, made using dates and walnuts. It is often made with treacle or tea to give it a dark brown colour....

  • Date cultivation in Dar al-Manasir
    Date cultivation in Dar al-Manasir
    Date palms are cultivated in Sudan from the Egyptian border in the North all the way along the Nile south of Khartoum until Sennar. In addition to the banks of the Nile, isolated occurrences of cultivated date trees occur in the Red Sea Hills in the vicinity of Port Sudan, in Kassala, along the...

  • Grocer's itch
    Grocer's itch
    Grocer's itch is a cutaneous condition characterized by a pruritic dermatitis that occurs from coming into contact with mites such as Carpoglyphus passularum or Glyciphagus domesticus . Contact usually occurs when handling food with mites in it, such as figs, dates, prunes, grain, cheese or other...

  • Jaggery
    Jaggery
    Jaggery is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar consumed in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It is a concentrated product of cane juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color...

  • Judean date palm
    Judean date palm
    The Judean date palm is a cultivar of the date palm .Prized for its beauty, shade, and medicinal properties, the cultivar was thought to have become extinct sometime around AD 150. However, in 2005, a preserved 2,000-year-old seed sprouted. It is the oldest known human-assisted germination of a seed...

  • Jujube
    Jujube
    Ziziphus zizyphus , commonly called jujube , red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily as a fruiting shade tree.-Distribution:Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation,...

  • List of fruits
  • Orthodox seed
    Orthodox seed
    Orthodox seeds are seeds which will survive drying and/or freezing during ex-situ conservation. According to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture there is variation in the ability of orthodox seeds to withstand drying and storage with some seeds being more sensitive than others...



External links