The date palm(Phoenix dactyliferaL.) originated in theArabianPeninsula, spread throughout North Africa, then was carried to Mexico and the United States. Planting began in earnest in Arizona and California in the late 1800s and continues today. As of 2014, date production in Mexico and the United States is valued at almost $13,000,000, and comprises about 7400 ha. ‘Deglet Noor’ and ‘Medjool’ are the major cultivars. Modern practices for date palm cultivation include planting, irrigation, fertilization, pollination, thinning the fruit, ringing the bunches, bagging the bunches, and harvest. After harvest, the fruit must be sorted, dried or rehydrated, and graded. Date palms are sometimes sold for landscaping purposes. Current research at the University of Arizona and University of California at Riverside is focused on pollination and thinning practices, improving fruit quality and controlling insects. There are four date palm germplasm collections located in Arizona and California.
- Date palm
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