Kampoeng Kurma: Date Palm Trees - Phoenix Dactylifera

Kampoeng Kurma. The Phoenix dactylifera, popularly known as the Date Palm, is a palm under the Phoenix genus. It is massively planted because of it bears fruit that is suitable for human consumption. Its exact native originality is yet unknown because of its massive production. There are probabilities that it originates from the desert oases of Northern Africa and India. It is a medium sized plant towering from 40-50 feet tall. Its leaf is 3-5m long with about 150 leaflets. The leaflet's length is 30cm long and 2 cm broad. A fully expanded crown measures 6 to 10meters. It can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 15 degrees F as well as intensive heat.

For thousands of years, the dates are the staple food of Middle Easterns.

Accordingly, the Date Palm trees are widespread in the Persian Gulf and were cultivated for centuries during the ancient Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt in 4000 BC. The Egyptian ancestors utilize the fruits into wine and as food during harvest. Archeologically speaking, an evidence of date cultivation showed that it happened in eastern Arabia in 6000 BC. At present, the Date Palm is cultivated in tropical countries around the world.

Date Palm trees bear an oval-cylindrical fruit that measures 3-7cm long with 2-3cm in diameter. When raw, it has bright red to bright yellow in color depending on the variety. The kinds of Dates fruit are distinguished according to its glucose, fructose and sucrose content.

Furthermore, the Date Palm has separate male and female plant. It can grow from a seed. However, only 50% of it will be female that may bear fruits. Dates from seedlings are normally smaller and poor in quality. The highest yields of large and sweet dates came from the plant made by cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars. Medjool is the variety of the produced cultivar of dates. Comparatively, a date palm grown from cutting will bear fruits in about 2-3 years ahead of the plants grown from seedlings.

Like other flora, date is naturally wind pollinated but manual pollinations are done today. Manual pollination can be witnessed in large plantations in Iraq and it is undertaken by skilled laborers by using ladders and elevating clamber. The pollen is blown to the flowers with the use of wind machine.

Date Palm trees are vulnerable to Bayoud disease. It is caused by fungus Fusarium oxysporum that kills lots of older cultivars. At present, it becomes the factor that led to decline the industry's production in the plantations of Morocco and western Algeria.

It loves full sun exposure because of its drought tolerating capacity. It can withstand abnormalities or fluctuations in temperature. May it cold or hot.

These Palm trees can be used as ornamental plant for indoor and outdoor purposes. Its Medjool variety will create a beautiful impact for landscapes outside offices and homes. It will compliment sophisticated architectural designs of a modern world.

The leaves of the plant are either silver or dark green, shiny with upright leaves. The stalks of flowers will surface in the leaves. The female and male flowers differ in growing locations and color. The female flowers are cream and yellow while the male is mostly white.

The Date Palm will start its fruit-bearing after 6-8 years. The date is green when it starts to bloom. It will turn into dark-brown when ripe. In areas of the Middle East, Date Palm can easily bear fruits because of the temperature. The fruit is nutritious. It is now treated as the second product to produce syrups, ice cream flavorings, alcoholic drinks or wine and vinegars. The seeds also are used to manufacture cosmetics and soaps.

Although there dates produced by palms like pygmy date palm and Canary Island Date Palm, phoenix dactylifera is the genuine date palm that produces nutritious, very sweet and tasty fruit. It is commercially available at least cost, too.

Author: Dave Roekle

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4842464


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