Dates fruit facts

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Interesting facts about dates fruit

  • The dates fruit is a berry having a single seed surrounded by fibrous endocarp, mesocarp and pericarp.
  • The pericarp is the outer skin of the berry and the fleshy portion is mesocarp.
  • The dates fruit berry is attached at calyx to the spike-let.
  • A cluster of dates may hold 500-2000 berries.
  • When fully ripe there is dehydration of the dates and the skin gets wrinkled and is covered by a waxy film.
  • It takes about 200 days for it to reach maturity from the day of pollination.
  • There are three major stages in the growth and maturation and each stage has a name; Khalaal, Rutab and Tamr-full ripe stage.
Dates (Kenta variety)
Dates (Kenta variety)

Interesting facts about date palm

  • Dates palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a palm tree belonging to genus Phoenix.
  • Phoenix dactylifera palm tree has a long history of cultivation and it origin is probably in North Africa or West Asia.
  • Phoenix dactylifera tree is a medium sized palm growing up to a height of 20-25 meters.
  • One of the interesting facts is that a single root system of Phoenix dactylifera tree can give rise to several palms and single palms are also not a exception.
  • The leaves of this palm tree, like many palm trees is pinnate and grows to a length of about 2-5 meters and has spines on the petiole.
Date fruit clusters
Date fruit clusters

Facts about history and distribution of date palm

  • The facts of archaeological evidence prove about cultivation of these palms dating back to 6000 years.
  • There is evidence of prehistoric Egyptian use of dates for preparation of wine.
  • Later the palms were spread to Mediterranean countries and in 17th century to California and Mexico.
Date palm plantation
Date palm plantation

Facts about growing dates fruit palms

  • Phoenix dactylifera is dioecious ie. there separate male and female palms.
  • Though these palm trees can be grown from the seeds only about 50% of the trees will be female fruit bearing trees.
  • One of the known facts is that the Phoenix dactylifera trees grown from seeds yield smaller clusters of fruit and of poor quality.
  • For commercial plantations cuttings are used to get good yield from tree.
  • The trees from the cuttings will be females and will start yielding 2-3 years earlier than those grown from seeds.
  • Medjool is a very popular high yielding cultivar giving large and sweet fruit.
  • The plantation should also have male trees as they are required for pollination.
  • Nowadays during pollination season male flowers are made available in local markets.
  • In facts in nature these palm trees are pollinated mostly by wind.
  • In commercial plantations of Phoenix dactylifera to get good yield pollination of tree is done manually.
  • The manual pollination is done by skilled persons using ladders or palm tree climbing gear.
  • In facts Phoenix dactylifera takes up to 3-6 years for bearing fruit and after 7 years viable yields are realised.
  • In a season a yield of about 100 kg can be expected from a palm tree.
  • In facts several harvests are required as the berries do not mature at the same time.
  • The clusters in the palm tree have to be protected from birds and climatic conditions.

Facts about dates production

  • One of the interesting facts is that Egypt has extensive cover of dates palms and leads the dates fruit producing countries with an annual yield of more than 1400,000 tons.
  • Iran with a production of about 1000,000 tons takes the second place closely followed by Saudi Arabia with 980,000 tons.
  • Other top ranking countries are UAE, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, China and Libya.

Facts about preserving dates fruit

  • Fig moth is a major threat to the harvested dates.
  • Preservation methods like fumigation, heat treatment, cold storage and irradiation are resorted to.
  • Dates are washed graded and cured by sun drying or dehydration.
  • Then they are treated for pest, glazed by running hot air and packed.
  • Pitting is done to get compact packets.

Facts about culinary use of dates

  • Many recipes are being invented for the use of different stages of maturity of the dates fruit.
  • Their use in salad preparations are in vogue in the Middle East.
  • Shredded dates are mixed with wheat or other cereal flour and numerous preparations like cake and puddings are made.
  • Many dates fruit recipes for sandwich spreads, party snacks and salads are now being tried out.

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Images for date fruit facts
1.Image source:
Image author: Madhif
Image license:
2.Image source:
Image author: abcdz2000
Image license: as on 01-01-2020
3.Image source:
Image author: Photo by Jeff Vanuga, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Image license: Public domain

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