Date Palm, Royal Palm

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Date Palm

***** Location: Yemen
***** Season: various, see below
***** Category: Plant


The Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a palm in the genus Phoenix, extensively cultivated for its edible fruit. Due to its long history of cultivation for fruit, its exact native distribution is unknown, but probably originated somewhere in the desert oases of northern Africa, and perhaps also southwest Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, 15–25 m tall, often clumped with several trunks from a single root system, but often growing singly as well. The leaves are pinnate, 3–5 m long, with spines on the petiole and about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm broad. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m.

The fruit is a drupe known as a date. They are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm diameter, and when unripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single seed about 2–2.5 cm long and 6–8 mm thick. Three main cultivar groups of date exist; soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', 'Deglet Noor', 'Zahidi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory'). The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content.

Dates are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco and are mentioned in many places in the Quran. In Islamic countries, dates and yogurt or sometimes milk are a traditional first meal when the sun sets during Ramadan. Dates (especially Medjool and Deglet Noor) are also cultivated in southern California in the United States.

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dates, ripening dates
kigo for summer

We find them from may to june in Yemen.
Fresh ripe dates have a yellow-brownish color and are often served with the Jemeni coffee.

Heike Gewi

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Worldwide use


topic for haiku

lunch break--
I find myself counting rings
on the royal palm

Caleb Mutua

Roystonea regia O.F. Cook
Reference : Royal Palm Tree
daiooyashi, daioo yashi ダイオウ(大王)ヤシ.

Things found on the way

HOO-OO - PHOENIX in Asian Art
鳳凰 アジアの美術 


grazing sheep
cloud in Socotra's tree..
ripening dates

Heike Gewi, Yemen, January 2008

Related words




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