The Date Palm: A Plant from the Old World
The Date palm is grown all through the dry and semi-dry areas of the world, particularly in West Asia and North Africa. It is well adapted to the desert surroundings, where dry and humid climate is significant for the fruit to be matured and ripened.
Although date palms are generally grown in the dry regions, can be grown in many other countries for food and ornamentation. The places are Southern Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Besides the decorative purpose, date palms contribute as a food, and can be readily managed as a subsistence crop in many developing and under-developed countries. For the high nutritional value of the dates, mainly for the higher calories and mineral contents, are promptly stored.
How far date palm is religiously significant
The planting date palm is dated back 2400 BC. It had received approval from many ancient civilizations like the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians. The drawings and sculptures of the time prove this.
Moreover, the date palm is still thought of as a holy tree among three major religions of the world, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. In Islam, for instance, you find the holy Quran cited date palms 21 times.
The date palm botanically named as Phoenix dactylifera L., is an angiosperm, a monocotyledonous plant that belongs to the family of Arecaceae. This family has 200 genera, of which Phoenix contains 12 of the 1500 species.
Date palm is characterized by pinnate leaves and conduplicated leaflets with acute tips There are two other common cultivated Phoenix palms, canary P. canariensis and sugar palm, P. sylvestris.
Date palm is a dioecious plant, both female and male flowers are born on two separate palms. Pollination involves manually inserting the male strands into the female inflorescence. For having high quality date palm, it is important to choose the suitable male palm for pollination due to the metaxenic effect of date palm pollen on fruit quality & maturity.
The special botanical features make the date palm unique among fruit trees.