Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Date Palm

The date palm is a plant belonging to the family Arecaceae. It was known since antiquity among the Egyptians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Berbers for its edible fruits called dates. Because of the antiquity of cultivation, its native range can not be determined with certainty, considering that it was already cultivated in 4000 BC in Babylon.

It is plausible, however, that it is of the North Africa or Asia South-West. Today it is cultivated throughout the Maghreb, in Egypt, Arabia, the Persian Gulf, in the Canary Islands, in the Mediterranean and in the south of the southern United States. It is mentioned seventeen times in the Quran .

The cultivar most common are Medjool, Deglet noor, Ameri, Deri, Halawi and Zahidi, Berhi, Hiann. Among the variety of date is defined as starch, which produces the so-called bread of the desert, which is one of the basic foods of the Bedouins. The palm is dioecious male and female plants both have small flowers grouped in large light-colored inflorescences shaped cluster pollination in nature is by means of the wind, but for plants grown for commercial purposes is generally done artificially. 

The fruit, the date palm, is a drupe 3-7 cm long cylindrical in shape and 2-3 cm wide, which, when ripe, assumes a dark color. Its edible part is the pericarp very sweet and meaty. The drupe containing a single seed , about 2-2.5 cm long and 6-8 mm thick. From the fermented sap of the tree you can also get the legmi , an alcoholic beverage.

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