The date palm is a tree. It has been cultivated for a very long time because of its fruit. The tree is between 15 and 25 metres (49 and 82 feet) high. It has long leaves that look like feathers. Such leaves are called pinnate. The leaves can grow to 3 to 5 metres (9.8 to 16.4 feet) in length. The leaves have visible spines. There are about 150 leaflets.
Major Producer around the world:
Egypt: 1,100,000 t (16.2% of world production)
Iran: 880,000 t (13.0%)
Saudi Arabia: 830,000 t (12.3%)
United Arab Emirates: 760,000 t (11.2%)
India: 710,000 t (10.6%)
Pakistan: 650,000 t (9.6%)
Algeria: 450,000 t (6.6%)
Sudan: 330,000 t
Oman: 240,000 t
Libya: 140,000 t
Tunisia: 150,500 t
Others: 1,140,000 t
Iraq used to be a major producer of dates but in recent years production and exports have fallen considerably.
The First International Date Conference was held in Tripoli in 1959. In that conference, it was decided to develop a special program under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to promote the commercial use of substandard or physically defective dates.
How Dates are grown?
Dates palms are divided into male trees with staminate blossoms and female trees with pistillate blossoms. In the wild the wind carries the pollen from the male blossom to the female blossom. In cultivated areas sprays of male blossoms are tied to the female flower clusters.
Dates pollen (نر)
Dates are seeds Each pistallate flower cluster produces a bunch of dates weighing 10 to 40 pounds. Large trees can produce between 8 to 12 bunches at a time and up 600 pounds of fruit a year. The dates are very sweet and they have traditionally attracted birds which eat them and disperse the seeds. Temperatures have to be above 16̊C for a tree to produce fruit.