Cowan (1984) suggested that it is the action of the wind rather than shrikes which is responsible. Photo: phoenix-spain.org, Island of El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain. An avenue of Date Palms in southern California. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called 'ajwa, spread, date syrup or "honey" called "dibs" or rub in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar or alcohol. The pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) is native to Southeast Asia and, because it grows to only 6 to 12 feet, it is most suitable for use as a houseplant. CULTIVATION. The date palm is covered with old leaf bases. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'); semi-dry (e.g. INFRASPECIFIC NOMENCLATURE. Photo by Paul Latzias. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) has been traditionally used for different diseases because of the presence of bioactive agents like anthocyanin, phenols, sterols, carotenoids, procyanidins and flavonoids however its potential as a medicinal food is still unclear. Besides, dates can be grown in Australia, Date Garden" in Indio, California. the British Isles impossible, unlike P. canariensis which can be grown there in milder areas. Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of dietary potassium. The Phoenix dactylifera is one of the 13 different species of trees that are considered date palms. 53, No. Photo by Troy Donovan, Menton, French Côte d'Azur, France. Date palms in a deserted village in Behbahan, Iran, Dates on palm tree outside Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan, palm tree cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Many animals are involved in dispersal of wild dates, as is the case with most palms (Zona & Henderson 1989). Because of it's slow growth, larger … Many of these 'wild' date stands may represent long neglected palm groves or escapes from such groves. Griffith (1845) found the two species to be indistinguishable, and Hamilton (1827) considered P. sylvestris to represent 'merely the wild plant of the same species with that which is cultivated in Arabia and Africa: but this culture has wonderfully improved the fruit'. The palm is important in several Christian, Jewish and Muslim festivals. Dictionary entry overview: What does Phoenix dactylifera mean? 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. 1998), Conservation: The conservation status of wild P. dactylifera is difficult to ascertain due to the continuing doubt as to whether it exists in that state. Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt. (Susyn C. Barrow. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb. 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. Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera Linn., DATE, Hai zao - Herbal Medicine - An illustrated compilation of Philippine medicinal plants by Dr Godofredo Umali Stuart with botanical information, chemical properties, folkloric uses and research studies. Palaeobotanical data provides further support for a Near Eastern origin of the date palm. Apart from P. dactylifera, wild date palms such as Phoenix sylvestris and Phoenix reclinata, depending on the region, can be also tapped for sap. Intrinsic within the hundreds of cultivars is a large reservoir of genetic diversity that has been the source of palms of varying vegetative and fruit characteristics for date palm growers through the ages. , Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. This is a large tree that can grow to almost 90 feet tall. Date fruits are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long, and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb. However, the Phoenix dactylifera (pictured above) is the true date palm because it is the only one of the species that produces edible fruit. Three main cultivar groups of date exist: soft (e.g. Photo: phoenix-spain.org, Ojós, Murcia, southeastern Spain. They produce clusters of bright orange, oval fruits that are very sweet when dried. Dates (especially Medjool and Deglet Nour) are also cultivated in America in southern California, Arizona and southern Florida in the United States and in Sonora and Baja California in Mexico.  The fruit is known as a date. Escondito, CA. Date fruits (dates) are oval-cylindrical, 3 to 7 centimetres (1.2 to 2.8 in) long, and about 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) in diameter, ranging from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Var. Leaves straight, obliquely vertical in orientation, to 3 - 4 (5) m long; leaf base 15 - 20 cm wide; pseudopetiole 50 - 100 cm long; leaf sheath reddish-brown, to about 45 cm long, fibrous; acanthophylls sparsely arranged, pointing in several directions, to 20 cm long; leaflets variously arranged in 1 - 3 planes of orientation, about 50 - 130 on each side of rachis, stiff, about 40 x 2 cm in length; lamina concolorous, glaucous, drying pale green. Pictures Identity Taxonomic Tree List of Pests Uses List Wood Products Summary. Some Phoenix palms, such as the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis), grow very large--to over 60 feet--so the smaller varieties are usually favored for indoor use. It is doubtful whether P. dactylifera still exists in the wild. In Israel date syrup, termed silan, is used while cooking chicken and also for sweets and desserts, and as a honey substitute. (Susyn C. Barrow. Throughout its distribution the date palm is taken as a reliable indicator of ground water in wadis, crevices and rocky ravines. The trunk is 40 - 60 cm diameter, often with a much wider base. reported spontaneous 'wild dates' bordering the Dead Sea on both Israeli and Jordanian sides. Herrera (1989) reported that the only other European palm, Chamaerops humilis L., is also pollinated by a combination of insects and wind, and Henderson (1986) suggested that this is a common syndrome in palms. , Stripped fruit clusters are used as brooms. The species name dactylifera "date-bearing" comes from the Greek words daktylos (δάκτυλος), which means "date" (also "finger"), and fero (φέρω), which means "I bear". Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays.  In Psalm 92:12 "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree". Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera), native to northern Africa and adjacent areas, is very frequently planted as an ornamental in southern Florida. Many cultivars are potentially referrable to any one of these names because of the brevity of the descriptions so that the names are useless to date grower and botanist alike. The Date Palm is a perfect choice for those who like an added utility in their garden trees. In later times, traders spread dates around South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain. along with discussion & documentation of Indian Flora. They are produced on long, densely branched panicles. A date palm cultivar, probably what used to be called Judean date palm, is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years. To obtain 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 animals, such as birds, that also like to eat them. Popenoe (1973) listed 1500 'varieties' cultivated to varying extents throughout the zone of date palm growth, and noted that if all named 'varieties' were to be collected together they would number several thousands.  It is recognizable in frescoes from Pompeii and elsewhere in Italy, including a garden scene from the House of the Wedding of Alexander.. Single- or multiple-trunked, pinnate palm to 15-25 m (rarely 30 m) tall. These Dead Sea populations comprise equal numbers of staminate and pistillate palms, they are sexually-reproducing and occupy primary habitats, such as wet escarpments, gorges, springs and seepage areas, suggesting that they are wild. Beccari (1890) looked to ecology to solve questions of date palm origins. Photo: phoenix-spain.org, Medjool dates Seeds (National Citrus and Date Palm Repository USDA, Riverside, CA. Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions. , Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. Baker, M.M. Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) – The Amazing Desert Palm Tree (vita48/123rf.com) Living in a desert climate doesn’t sentence you to go without fresh fruit from your own trees. It is native to the coasts of Turkey and Crete and looks a lot like a date palm. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Furthermore, Uhl & Moore (1971) identified what could be interpreted as nectaries at the base of the ovary which could suggest entomophily. costata, dates from a variety described by Odoardo Beccari in the nineteenth century from Valencia (Santomera, Murcia) Spain. The staminate inflorescences produce copious amounts of pollen, typical of anemophily. Photo: phoenix-spain.org, Gorguel, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. Traditionally, date palm cultivars have been classified according to moisture content which, in turn, defines use.  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. Photo by Dr. T. Upsom, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb. Date palms produce offshoots at the trunk base allowing simple clonal propagation of chosen palms. Zohary & Spiegel-Roy (1975) claim that 'spontaneously-growing dates can be found throughout the range of date cultivation'. Solitary, or sparsely clustering palm, with several suckering off shoots at base. Multi-stemmed specimens. In America, this tree grows well in regions where there is low humidity, although it is found in humid areas … The date palm is dioecious, having separate male and female plants. However, there is evidence for both anemophily and entomophily in P. dactylifera and other species of the genus. Recent years have seen a decrease in the number of varieties regularly propagated in cultivation. Field: In younger palms, the stem is covered with narrow, triangular leaf bases of fallen or pruned leaves. The most comprehensive attempt at such a study is that of Popenoe (1973) who gave a concise overview of cultivar history, geography and origin, discussed the nomenclatural confusion that surrounds most varieties, listed 1500 names and described the most commercially important ones in greater detail. Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm) Index. Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. "Probably THE original date palm from which Phoenix dactylifera, the edible date, was derived from. 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). Whatever the history of the relationship between P. sylvestris and P. dactylifera, their similarity is beyond doubt, and the identification of the Irano-Arabian area as the home of the date palm, alongside the western limit of P. sylvestris, comes as no surprise. 4 View of leaflet and waxy bloom  The fruit's English name (through Old French), as well as the Latin both come from the Greek word for "finger", dáktulos, because of the fruit's elongated shape. A paucity of morphological characters makes differentiation of wild from feral plants difficult. Around the same time, the Phoenicians arrived in Phoenicia ('The Land of the Date'), the area covering present-day Lebanon and parts of Syria. In the words of Pliny (see Rackham 1945): 'It likes running water, and to drink all the year round, though it loves dry places'. 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. Common/English Name: Date, Dates, Date Palm, Wild Date Palm: Name in Other Languages: Catalan: palmera datilera; Bulgarian: finikova palma (финикова палма); Croatian: datulja; A proliferation of names can arise when date palms of identical stock are distributed to groves with varying microclimates, resulting in phenotypic variation (Brac de la Perriere 1988). At Gary Le Vines place. Kew Bulletin, Vol. The soboliferous (suckering) habit of P. dactylifera makes it well-suited to vegetative propagation and domestication. Compositional and Sensory Characteristics of Three Native Sun-Dried Date ( Phoenix dactylifera L.) Varieties Grown in Oman More recently, date palm cultivation has been established on a commercial level in California. Fruit very variable in shape and size, 4 - 7 x 2 - 3 cm, ripening a range of colours from yellow and green to orange, red, purplish- brown to black; mesocarp sweet, thick and fleshy or dry and thin. Systematic analysis in this paper resolves P. dactylifera, P. sylvestris and R theophrasti in one clade.  The draft genome sequence was improved in 2019 with the release of a more complete genome sequence using small molecule real-time sequencing technology by a team from the New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the UAE University Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in the United Arab Emirates.  and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt. Date palms appear in the archaeological record in North Africa about 2,800 years ago, suggesting that the hybrid was spread by the Minoans or Phoenicians.. Surly the largest commonly grown ornamental palm in the world is the Canary Island date palm, Phoenix canariensis.A close relative of the true date palm, P. dactylifera, this species is much more widely grown due to its ability to live in a broad range of climates and soils.Beyond that, this palm is truly stunning as a mature tree. Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric. Date (Phoenix dactylifera) Polyphenolics and Other Bioactive Compounds: A Traditional Islamic Remedy’s Potential in Prevention of Cell Damage, Cancer Therapeutics and Beyond. 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). Many kinds of insects are frequent visitors to date palm inflorescences, but their role as pollinators has not been conclusively demonstrated. Stem to 30 m tall, without leaf sheaths to about 40 - 50 cm in diam. In some areas of the Near East date palms can be found occupying primary niches and could perhaps represent wild P. dactylifera (Zohary & Hopf 1988). 'Thoory'). http://www.westafricanplants.senckenberg.de/root/index.php?page_id=14&id=1250, http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/gepts/pb143/CROP/Date/Date.htm, http://www.palmdoctor.com/Palm_0f_The_Month/Phoenix_dactylifera.htm, http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/index.php5?title=Phoenix_dactylifera&oldid=139817, PALM SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (PSSC), CENTRAL FLORIDA PALM AND CYCAD SOCIETY (CFPCS). Dungul, Egypt. Traditional areas of date palm cultivation have included the Middle East, Near East, North Africa, parts of north western India and Pakistan (Malik 1984). Tapping interferes somewhat with fruit production, and the number of times a palm can be tapped is limited. This page has been accessed 39,112 times. Dates contain a single stone about 2–2.5 cm (0.8–1.0 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) thick. Many Jewish scholars believe that the "honey" reference in the Bible to "a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus chapter 3) is actually a reference to date "honey", and not honey from bees.. Single- or multiple-trunked, pinnate palm to 15-25 m (rarely 30 m) tall. It is also present in Turkey, Pakistan, and Northwest India, but is thought to have been introduced to these areas long ago through human transport. (Susyn C. Barrow. The leaves are also used as a lulav in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Lewis. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Arabia from the 6th millennium BCE. 1998)/Palmweb. 1. tall tropical feather palm tree native to Syria bearing sweet edible fruit Familiarity information: PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA used as a noun is very rare. HowStuffWorks.com. Staminate inflorescences erect; prophyll splitting 1 - 2 times between margins, yellow- green with reddish-brown tomentum when young, becoming brown and coriaceous, to 45 x 12 cm; peduncle to about 50 cm long; rachillae to 30 cm long. Their oil is suitable for use in cosmetics and dermatological applications. In general, fruits are divided into three classes: dry dates, which require high temperatures and sun levels for maturation, and are easily stored; semi-dry dates, which are more moist, and also store well; soft dates which must be eaten fresh and therefore are less commonly exported. , Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. The fruits are edible. Besides, dates can be grown in Australia, Mexico, South America, southern Africa, and the United States, especially in southern California, Arizona, and Texas (Chao and Krueger, 2007; Al-Harrasi et al., 2014; Hazzouri et al., 2015). Vinegar made from dates was a traditional product of the Middle East. Dates are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Qur'an. Like all Phoenix, it has long, sharp spines at the bases of the leaves, which are formed from modified leaflets. Nixon (1951) noted that date fruits mature properly only if rainfall during the fruit maturation period (July to October) is less than 1.5 cm. Although its exact place of origin is uncertain because of long cultivation, it probably originated from the Fertile Crescent region straddling between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Date palm tree belongs to Arecaceae family (Angiosperms, monocotyledon) consisting of about 200 genera and more than 2,500 … Zohary (pers comm.) REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY. Corner (1966) found the strictly solitary habit of P. sylvestris and its occupation of a different ecological niche as strong evidence against it as sister to the date palm. It is also grown as an ornamental tree; it is popular with people starting growing palms for the first time due to the very easy availability of seed; the stones from shop-bought dates (even dried dates) will grow readily. Date palms have been cultivated in the Middle East and northern Africa for at least 5,000 years (Zohary & Hopf 1988). For some communities practising subsistence agriculture, the date crop provides an essential subsidiary income. This is a cold hard palm that can tolerate cold temperatures down to 15F and will grow in the zone 8. Date Palm at Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara Desert, Morocco. (oil-palm). Ripe and dry dates fruit bunches at the Khurram Abdullah Bajwa Date Farm in Medina. Date Palm - Phoenix dactilifera Fig. Ridley (1930) recorded the dispersal of dates by bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus). Cutting of the terminal bud leaves a cavity which fills with a thick, sweet refreshing fluid that is drunk fresh or fermented. Mature date palms can produce 150–300 lb (70–140 kg) of dates per harvest season. Study of early date cultivators, particularly the Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians, their history, trade routes, language and culture can offer useful and complementary information to botanical data. To resolve this question a multi-disciplinary approach is advisable, combining evidence from botanical and ecological data with historical, cultural and archaeological information. Reflecting the maritime trading heritage of Britain, imported chopped dates are added to, or form the main basis of a variety of traditional dessert recipes including sticky toffee pudding, Christmas pudding and date and walnut loaf. It is not known from where the Phoenicians came but certain traditions suggest the Persian Gulf. Harley & C.E. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. P. …  Evidence of cultivation is continually found throughout later civilizations in the Indus Valley, including the Harappan period of 2600 to 1900 BCE. Seed variable in size and shape but generally elongate, 20 - 30 x 5 - 8 mm, with apices rounded or pointed; embryo lateral opposite raphe; endosperm homogeneous. It is not certain whether human selection over thousands of years could result in the differences between the two species; however, on consideration of the selective restrictions of clonal cultivation, it would seem that major morphological and physiological changes and adaptations would not be encouraged. 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.  The species is widely cultivated across Northern Africa, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and South Asia, and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Dates are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Iran, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco. Single-stemmed specimens. The species is widely cultivated across Northern Africa, the Middle East, the Horn of Africaand South Asia, and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Date palms require well-drained deep sandy loam soils with a pH of 8-11 (i.e., alkali). Provided by Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany . Martius (1823 - 1853) described seven varieties of P. dactylifera, and Beccari (1890) a further two, using only loosely defined fruit characters. The most significant role in date palm dispersal has without doubt been played by man. They are also used as ornamentation in the Feast of the Tabernacles. Rounded crown of dark green feather leaves 3-5 m long, with pinnae to 20-40 cm long closely spaced along the rachis.  These have generally been replaced by an inexpensive pale-colored knobbled plastic fork that resembles a date branch (example), which is traditionally included with numerous brands of prepackaged trays of dates (example), though this practice has declined in response to increased use of resealable packaging and calls for fewer single-use plastics. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread. Photo by B. Simpson, Archena, Murcia, Spain. Recently the floral stalks have been found to be of ornamental value in households.. A large number of date cultivars are grown. The leaves are 4–6 metres (13–20 ft) long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets. Phoenix is a genus of 14 species of palms, native to an area starting from the Canary Islands in the west, across northern and central Africa, to the extreme southeast of Europe , and continuing throughout southern Asia from Turkey east to southern China and Malaysia. ; trunk dull brown, marked with diamond-shaped leaf base scars about 10 x 25 - 30 cm.  Palm branches were scattered before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb. Solecki & Leroi-Gourhan (1961) found Phoenix pollen, comparable to that of P. dactylifera, in sediment samples taken from the Mousterian layer D in Shanidar Cave, northern Iraq, dating to thousands of years before the start of Neolithic agriculture, possibly suggesting the pre-agricultural existence of date palms in the Near East. The ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them at harvest. This species is native to the Canary Islands, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Spain near the African continent. , In Ancient Rome the palm fronds used in triumphal processions to symbolize victory were most likely those of Phoenix dactylifera. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Mehrgarh around 7000 BCE, a Neolithic civilization in what is now western Pakistan, and in eastern Arabia between 5530 and 5320 calBC. The total annual world production of dates amounts to 8.5 million metric tons, countries of the Middle East and North Africa being the largest producers.. Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Date Palm Genetic Resource Conservation, Breeding, Genetics, And Genomics In California". Phoenix dactylifera cultivar taxonomy has not been an aim of this monograph. When Muslims break fast in the evening meal of Ramadan, it is traditional to eat a date first. At about 61-68 percent sugar by mass when dried, dates are a very sweet fruit. Selection of productive palms in combination with artificial pollination techniques has led to the development and recognition of hundreds of date palm cultivars, differing in fruit characters such as size, texture, fleshiness, colour, taste, sweetness and storage quality. Cooper. In Muslim tradition, God created the date palm from dust left over after Adam was created, and Arabs consequently know it as the 'Tree of Life' (Goor 1967), a name that well suits its multiplicity of uses. Little Dungul, Egypt. In the Bible palm trees are referenced as symbols of prosperity and triumph. 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. Phoenix sylvestris differs from the date palm primarily in its solitary habit, its short pseudopetiole with congested, conspicuously folded acanthophylls, its shorter infructescence peduncle bearing smaller fruits that are scarcely fleshy and non-comestible, and its ability to withstand wet conditions. Historical and cultural information must also be considered.