Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/11/2019
Publication Date: 7/2/2021
Citation: Krueger R.R. 2021. Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) biology and utilization. In: Al-Khayri J.M., Jain S.M., Johnson D.V., editors. The Date Palm Genome, Vol. 1. Compendium of Plant Genomes. Springer, Cham. p. 3-28. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-73746-7_1_1.
Technical Abstract: The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) is the type species for the genus Phoenix of the family Palmaceae. The date palm has been domesticated for several millennia in its centers of origin, diversity, and domestication in the Middle East and North Africa. Its culture has spread to other areas having a suitable climate (hot, arid or semi-arid) with sufficient water available either as groundwater or irrigation. The date palm is a unique, monocotyledonous plant with distinctive anatomical features and adaptations. It grows in arid, sandy environments but requires large volumes of water for growth and fruit production; it tolerates saline conditions but is not a halophyte. Intensive and labor-intensive inputs are necessary for successful date cultivation. Cultivation practices include pruning, pollination, and bunch management. Harvesting and post-harvest handling may include dehydration or hydration, depending upon the fruit moisture content at harvest. Date fruit are also processed into additional products. Production of dates has increased in recent decades and will most probably continue to increase in the near term future.