April 23, 2017

It’s a Date

Phoenix dactylifera - date palm

Pamela Rogers Photo | Phoenix dactylifera – date palm

It has been cultivated for so many years that its exact origins are not known. Phoenix dactylifera, which likely came from the region of Iraq, is better known as the date palm. It is the palm that provides the world with dates, a staple food for thousands of years in the Middle East and Indus Valley. As exploration spread, so did the palm, carried by traders to other lands where it was then cultivated as a food source. The palm itself can reach 75 feet in height as either a single stem or a clump from a single root source. A dioecious plant, the palm has separate male and female plants, and is wind pollinated. Interestingly, there are three types of cultivars of dates: “soft (e.g. ‘Barhee’, ‘Halawy’, ‘Khadrawy’, ‘Medjool’), semi-dry (e.g. ‘Dayri’, ‘Deglet Noor’, ‘Zahdi’), and dry (e.g. ‘Thoory’). The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content.”

This date palm was photographed in New Zealand by Pamela Rogers. You can read more about how Garden Maine and Pamela met here.