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Accepted Scientific Name: Phoenix dactylifera L.
Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753) L.
Habit at Bordighera, Liguria, Italy.
Origin and Habitat: The exact place of origin of the date palm is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. The date palm has been extensively cultivated from ancient age for its edible sweet fruit in North Africa, Arabia and in the Persian Gulf, where it features as the characteristic vegetation of oases. Moreover it is grown over the Canary Islands, in the northern Mediterranean and in the south of the United States and as ornamental in tropical, subtropical and anywhere freezing temperatures are of brief duration.
Phoenix dactylifera L.
Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753)
- Phoenix dactylifera L.
- Phoenix atlantica var. maroccana A.Chev.
- Phoenix chevalieri D.Rivera, S.Ríos & Obón
- Phoenix dactylifera var. adunca D.H.Christ ex Becc.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. costata Becc.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. cylindrocarpa Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. gonocarpa Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. oocarpa Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. oxysperma Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. sphaerocarpa Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. sphaerosperma Mart.
- Phoenix dactylifera var. sylvestris Mart.
- Phoenix iberica D.Rivera, S.Ríos & Obón
- Zamia pungens L.f. ex Aiton
ENGLISH: Date palm, Date
ACEHNESE (بهسا اچيه /Bahsa Acèh): خرما (Keureuma)
AMHARIC (ኣማርኛ Amarəñña): ተምር
ARABIC ( لعربية ): نخلة (Nakhl, Nakhal), تمر (Tamar, Tamr, Temer)
AZERBAIJAN ( Azərbaycanca): Xurma palması, İran xurması
BASQUE (Euskara): Datil palmondo
BENGALI (বাংলা): খেজুর, Khajur
BOSNIAN (bosanski / босански): Hurma, Urma, Datula
BULGARIAN (Български): същинска финикова палма, Финикова палма
CATALAN (Català): Palmera datilera
CEBUANO (Sinugboanong Binisaya): Palmerang datilero, Datilero
CHINESE (中文): Zao ye zi, Zao ye, Ye zao, Hai zao, 椰枣, 波斯枣, 伊拉克蜜枣, 海枣
CROATIAN (Hrvatski): Datulja
CZECH (Čeština): Palma datlová, Datlovník obecný, Datlovník pravý
DANISH (Dansk): Daddelpalme, Ægte Daddelpalme
DUTCH (Nederlands): Gewone dadelpalm, Echte dadelpalm, Dadelpalm
ESPERANT (Esperanto): Daktila feniko, Daktilopalmo
ESTONIAN (Eesti): Harilik datlipalm, Datlipalm
FINNISH (Suomi): Välimerentaateli, Taatelipalmu
FRENCH (Français): Palmier dattier, Dattier commun, Dattier
GERMAN (Deutsch): Datteln (Früchte), Echte Dattelpalme, Dattelpalme
GREEK (Ελληνικά): Χουρμαδιά
HAKKA (Hak-kâ-fa / 客家話): Tsûng-su
HEBREW (עברית): תמר מצוי
HINDI ( हिन्दी): Sendhi, Salma, Khajur, Khaji, खजूर
HUNGARIAN (Magyar): Közönséges datolyapálma
ICELANDIC (Íslenska): Döðlupálmi
IDO: Datelo (frukto), Dateliero
INDONESIAN (Bahasa Indonesia): Kurma, Pohon Kurma
INTERLINGUA: Palma de Dactylo
ITALIAN (Italiano): Dattero (frutto), Palmizio, Palma di dattero, Palma da datteri, Dattero
JAPANESE (日本語): Natsume yashi, ナツメヤシ
KAZAKH (Qazaqşa / قازاقشا / Қазақша): Құрма
KOREAN (한국어): 대추야자
KURDISH (كوردی / Kurdî): Xurme, Gespa rastîn, Gespa Îranê, Gesp, Qesp
LAK (Лакку): Чассаг
LATVIAN (Latviešu): Īstā dateļpalma, Dateļpalma
LITHUANIAN (Lietuvių): Datulinis finikas, Datulinė palmė
MALAY (بهاس ملاي /Bahasa Melayu ): Tamar, Pokok kurma
MALAYALAM (മലയാളം): ഈന്തപ്പന
MARATHI (मराठी): खजूर
NAHUATL (Nāhuatl): Zōyacapolcuahuitl
NAVAJO (Diné Bizaad): Hashkʼáán dijéeʼii, Hashkʼaan dijéʼé
NEPALESE (Nepal bhasa नेपाल भाषा): छोकडाको बोट, Chohoraa
NORTH FRISIAN (Frasch/Fresk/Nordfriisk): Echt datelpualem
NORWEGIAN (Bokmål): Daddelpalme, Daddel
NORWEGIAN (Nynorsk): Daddelpalmen, Daddel (Frukta)
PASHTO (پښتو ): کجوره
PERSIAN (فارسی): خرما
PICARD: Pron·nhié `d Afrique
PIEMONTES (Piemontèis): Palma da dàtoj
POLISH ( Polski): Daktylowiec właściwy, Palma daktylowa, Daktylowiec
PORTUGUESE (Português): Datileira, Tamareira, Tâmara
ROMANIAN (Română): Finic, Finicul, Curmalul
RUSSIAN (Русский): Финик пальчатый, Финиковая пальма (Finikovaia pal'ma), Пальма финиковая (Pal'ma finikovaia)
SANSKRIT (संस्कृतम्): खर्जूरम्
SERBIAN (Српски / Srpski): Датула
SICILIAN (Sicilianu): Parma, Palma
SLOVENIAN (Slovenščina): Datelj, Pravi datljevec
SOMALI ( Soomaaliga): Geed Timir
SPANISH (Español): Dátil (fruto), Datilero, Támara, Fénix, Palma común, Palma datilera, Palmera de dátiles, Palmera datilera, Dátil
SWAHILI ( Kiswahili): Mtende
SWEDISH (Svenska): Dadelpalm
TAGALOG: Palmerang datilero, Datilero
TAMIL (தமிழ்): Perichchankay, Karchuram, பேரீச்சை
TELUGU (తెలుగు): ఖర్జూరం
THAI (ภาษาไทย): Ton inthaphalam (palm), Inthaphalam (fruit), อินทผลัม
TURKISH (Türkçe): Hurma
UKRAINIAN (Українська): Фінік їстівний
UPPER SORBIAN (Hornjoserbsce): Wšědny datlowc
URDU (اردو): کھجور
VIETNAMESE (Tiếng Việt): Chà là, Chi Chà là
WALLOON (walon): Pålmî ås dates
WELSH (Cymraeg): Palmwydden ddatys
Description: The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a medium to large sized palm with very slender trunk. Probably the second most well-known palm after the coconut (Cocos nucifera), this palm produces dates.
Trunk: Solitary (if trimmed) or eventually forming a large impenetrable clump with several stems from a single root system, occasionally the trunk of this palm may branch up to 8 times, however branches occurs only in male plants. Single trunks are 15–25(-30) m tall, 25-35 cm in diameter, broad, grey, conspicuously covered with the remains of sheaths from fallen leaves, in cultivated specimens the old leaves are regularly pruned and the trunk sows a very ornamental pattern of diamond-shaped leaf scars.
Crown: 6-10 m in diameter with a maximum number of 20-30 fronds arranged in a thick canopy and forming a loose crownshaft
Leaves (fronds): Large, pinnate, greenish/grey to blue-green, 4–6 m long by 60 cm wide, with sharp 7-10 cm long spines on the petiole, with about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are coriaceous, linear, rigid and pointed, about 30-60 cm long and 2 cm wide, arranged in V-shape ranks that run the length of the leafstem. Upper fronds are ascending, basal ones are recurved.
Inflorescence: It has small, whitish, fragrant, unisexual flowers on dioecious plants (having separate male and female plants) Only female plants produce fruits and only if a male tree is nearby. The inflorescences are axillary and emerge from among the leaves in spring in spadices up to 120 cm long markedly bent downwards by their weight.
Fruit:The fruits commonly known as dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm diameter in dense pendulous clusters up to 50 cm long. The range from bright red to bright yellow in colour at maturity, depending on variety and their flesh is sacchariferous. Dates contain a single woody seed.
Seed: Pointed very hard, 2–2,5 cm long and 6–8 mm thick.
Remarks: Many other palms species of the genus Phoenix are commonly called "date palms"; pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata), Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) are just a few. The various Phoenix palm species hybridize with one another easily so individuals in cultivation may show a mix of species characteristics.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Forest & Kim Starr Phoenix dactylifera (date palm). Plants of Hawaii. <http://www.starrenvironmental.com>. Downloaded on 21 August 2014.
2) Wikipedia contributors. "Phoenix dactylifera." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Aug. 2014.
3) Don Ellison, Anthony Ellison “Cultivated Palms Of The World” UNSW Press, 01/May/2001
4) Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft “An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms” Timber Press, Portland 2007
5) Gilman, E. F. “Trees for urban and suburban landscapes.” Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers. 1997
6) Palmpedia contributors. "Phoenix dactylifera." Palmpedia, PALM ENCYCLOPEDIA, <http://www.palmpedia.net> Downloaded on 26 Aug. 2014
7)"Phoenix dactylifera." PACSOA Palms and Cycads wiki , <http://www.pacsoa.org.au> Accessed on 26 Aug. 2014
8) Wikipedia contributors. "Phoenix dactylifera." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 2 Sep. 2014.
Habit at Baldwin Ave, Maui, Hawaii (USA). July 02, 2003. (Phoenix dactylifera) Photo by: Forest Starr & Kim Starr
Habit with fruits at Baldwin Ave, Maui, Hawaii (USA). July 02, 2003. (Phoenix dactylifera) Photo by: Forest Starr & Kim Starr
Cultivation and Propagation: Phoenix dactifera is a popular palm extensively grown for the sweet fruit know as dates. The people of North Africa and the Middle East have depended from this plant as a food source for thousands of years. Also a popular ornamental in gardens and parks around the world due to its attractiveness and hardiness. It is adapted to a Mediterranean climate with cool, moist winters and summer drought, and can grow on poor and rocky soils, but will grow almost anywhere, from hot, dry deserts, to wet tropics, and through to cold-temperate apart from very cold areas, and whose only unconditional requirement is full sun. However, despite this palm being extremely adaptable to differing growing conditions it will only produce dates in the hot, dry climates. When grown in humid tropical climates, the fruit tends to be of low quality often dropping from the tree before ripening.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements or a slow release fertilizer applied in spring and summer, or according to package directions.
Water Requirements: Although it tolerates low levels of humidity and prolonged drought in desert areas, the date palm has deep roots that typically seek out subterranean water sources and prefers evenly moist but not consistently wet medium. When supplied with adequate moisture and fertilizer it is also fairly fast growing. This palm is very drought tolerant once established, but water regularly young plants for healthy look and fastest growth. It dislikes soggy soils.
Light: It prefers bright sunny locations, but it also does well in part shade with some direct sunlight when young.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is very salt resistant, making it good for coastal planting.
Wind resistance: It endures drying winds.
Hardiness: These palms are some of the hardier palms, tolerating winter frosts down to about -10/−12°C for short periods , although it will require some protection if cold periods are longer than normal. ( USDA Zones 9-11 - Zone 8 palm enthusiast grow them in sheltered location but occasional freeze damage to foliage can be expected)
Roots: Usually not a problem
Maintenance: For the healthiest and most attractive plant, keep the palm pruned. Phoenix dactylifera is a multi-stemmed palm from which the suckers are usually removed to create single stemmed specimens, while if left untrimmed will eventually form a large impenetrable clump.
Pest and diseases: Young plants are very susceptible to leaf spot and other fungus infections when grown in humid climates.
Uses: It is used in gardening and landscaping in large areas. It is not suited to small gardens, due to its eventual large size, and spined petioles. This palm is very good for adding a Mediterranean feel and widely used along boulevards, on campuses and in parks and grouped in trios to form focal points in cityscapes. Seedlings are quite slow, but speed up considerably once they start to trunk. Small specimens are inexpensive and readily available and look great in pots on the patio, near the pool, or in pairs flanking entryways. And thanks to its drought resistance and durability to heat it can thrive in harsh urban conditions.
Pest & diseases: As the old fronds die, these should be trimmed off and the leaf bases allowed to dry out, but is susceptible to a disease called Bayoud disease (caused by Fusarium oxysporum), a fungal disease that is spread by pruning with 'infected' shears/pruners. All those pruning multiple palms are urged to clean the instruments with bleach or something that kills the fungus, however, new cultivars resistant to the disease are being developed. It is also susceptible to leaf spot and other fungus. Note too, that this palm is also susceptible to lethal yellowing disease.
Food uses: Dates, due to their wonderfully delicious taste and high sugar content, represent the basic, fundamental food for North Africa, Arabia and Persia's peoples, where hundreds of varieties are grown for commercial purposes. Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and natural fibres. Dried dates are dates that have been dehydrated many hours to remove their moisture and prevent spoilage. The fruits may be sun-dried or dried in a dehydrator or oven. They are very sweet when fresh and even sweeter when dried. They can be stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange and cream cheese. Dried dates are often used in place of sugar in vegan, vegetarian, and raw food recipes. Dates are also being used to prepare juice and Jallab (a type of syrup popular in the Middle East and made from dates, grape molasses, and rose water). Three main cultivar groups of dates exist: soft, semi-dry, and dry. The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content. Mature date palms can produce 80–120 kilograms of dates per harvest season. Parthenocarpic cultivars are available but the seedless fruit is smaller and of lower quality. In order for its fruits to come to a complete maturity, rather high temperatures (40°C) and copious water amounts, these being sometimes provided by means of irrigation in production palms, are required. Dates are not formed in climates that are too cool.
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 to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible.
Propagation: It is propagated by suckers or seeding in spring. Seed germinate easily, but only half of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing. The seeds are long-lived and if correctly stored they can hold on their germinative proprieties for years, and it is reported of one seed successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years! Most commercial plantations thus use suckers or cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars, the suckers can be separated (with effort) to start new plants. Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants. In optimal climate the date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, in cooler climate the plant don't mature their fruits.
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