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Date palm

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**Botanical Information**:
– Date palms can reach up to 30 meters in height and have pinnate leaves with spines on the petiole.
– Date palms are dioecious, with separate male and female plants.
– Date fruits are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm in diameter.
– The draft genome of P. dactylifera was published in 2011, with more complete assemblies achieved in 2013 and 2019.
– The 2019 study utilized long-read sequencing technology and mapped genes for fruit color and sugar content.
– The first single nucleotide polymorphism map of the date palm genome was developed in 2015.

**Cultivation and Production**:
– Date palms have existed for at least 50 million years and are cultivated in regions like the Middle East and the Indus Valley.
– Date palms can take 4 to 8 years to bear fruit and produce 70–140 kilograms of dates per harvest season.
– World production of dates in 2020 was 9 million tonnes, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Algeria leading production.
– Hundreds of date cultivars have been identified, with notable ones like Deglet Noor, Medjool, and Mazafati.
– Date production is a significant agricultural industry in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Algeria.

**Uses and Nutrition**:
– Dates are consumed fresh, stuffed, or used in various dishes globally.
– Date products include date nut bread, date syrup, and date vinegar.
– Dates are high in carbohydrates and fiber, with moderate amounts of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.
– Dates have a low glycemic index and load, minimal sucrose, and are rich in monosaccharides.
Date palm fruits contribute significantly to daily energy and nutrient requirements.

**Cultural and Religious Significance**:
– Date palms have cultural and religious significance in various regions, including the Middle East and the Indus Valley.
– Dates are mentioned in the Bible and the Quran, holding significance in Abrahamic religions.
– Date palms are symbols of prosperity and triumph, with uses in religious practices like Palm Sunday and Sukkot.
– In Islamic culture, dates are traditionally consumed during labor and as the first food for Iftar.
– Date palms are considered one of the seven native Israeli plants in Judaism.

**Industrial and Health Applications**:
– Date seeds are used for animal feed and in cosmetics due to their oil content.
Date palm sap is extracted for culinary purposes, but raw sap can transmit the Nipah virus.
– Date seeds contain lauric acid and oleic acid, with potential health benefits shown in experimental studies.
Date palm leaves are utilized for various products like huts, mats, and baskets.
– Research has explored the health benefits of date palm fruit, including its impact on hypoglycemia and antigenotoxic properties.

Date palm (Wikipedia)

Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as the date palm, is a flowering-plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit called dates. The species is widely cultivated across northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. P. dactylifera is the type species of genus Phoenix, which contains 12–19 species of wild date palms.

Date palm
Date bunches on a palm
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Phoenix
P. dactylifera
Binomial name
Phoenix dactylifera
  • Palma dactylifera (L.) Mill.
  • Phoenix chevalieri D.Rivera, S.Ríos & Obón
  • Phoenix iberica D.Rivera, S.Ríos & Obón

Date palms reach up to 30 metres (100 feet) in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Slow-growing, they can reach over 100 years of age when maintained properly. Date fruits (dates) are oval-cylindrical, 3 to 7 centimetres (1 to 3 inches) long, and about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, with colour ranging from dark brown to bright red or yellow, depending on variety. Containing 61–68 percent sugar by mass when dried, dates are very sweet and are enjoyed as desserts on their own or within confections.

There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Arabia from the 6th millennium BCE. The total annual world production of dates is 8.5 million metric tons (9.4×10^6 short tons), countries of the Middle East and North Africa being the largest producers and consumers. Dates are "emblematic of oasis agriculture and highly symbolic in Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religions".

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