The Date palm (scientific name Phoenix dactylifera), also known as the Medjool palm is a tall, beautiful and majestic tree that is known for its edible sweet fruits, the dates. The tree belongs to the Arecaceae family and the genus Phoenix. The Date palm produces true real dates. It is the second most known and most useful palm tree in the world after the Coconut palm tree.
The Phoenix Dactylifera is one of the world’s oldest trees. It has been grown for thousands of years in hot, dry, desert regions throughout the world. It is an important multipurpose tree in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. The Date palm tree is a holy symbol. It was historically mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and other religious books. Many cultures are based on this tree. It has been called “the tree of life”. The real Date palm can provide all life necessities: food, medicine, shelter, fuel, building materials and materials for weaving and basket making. It is a symbol of fertility and hospitality in many countries.
The date fruit is one of the most important sources of nutrition for people in the Middle East. It is considered to be a delicacy. The date is a good source of sugar, potassium, protein, fat and minerals. People in this area have eaten dates since ancient times.
Only a female tree can form dates. Usually it starts producing fruits after 5-8 years. Unripe fruits are green in color, when fully ripe they are reddish-brown. It takes about 7 months for dates to ripen. The delicious fruits are harvested from September to early December.
They may be eaten fresh or dried. The fruits can be stored for several years. The dates are also may be used as secondary products to make wine, syrup, vinegar, cakes and ice-cream.
The Date palms are also very popular as ornamental trees around the world. They thrive in desert, tropical and subtropical areas with heat and full sun. They can grow to a height of 80-100 feet and can live for more than 200 years. They have a beautiful thick canopy of bluish-green pinnate leaves.