Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), tree of the palm family (Arecaceae, or Palmae), found in the Canary Islands, northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, and the U.S.
state of California. The date palm grows about 23 metres (75 feet) tall. Its stem, strongly marked with the pruned stubs of old leaf bases, terminates in a crown of graceful, shining, pinnate leaves about 5 metres (16 feet) long. Floral spikes branch from the axils of leaves that emerged the previous year. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Under cultivation the female flowers are artificially pollinated. The date is a one-seeded fruit, or berry, usually oblong but varying much in shape, size, colour, quality, and consistency of flesh, according to the conditions of culture. More than 1,000 dates may appear on a single bunch weighing 8 kg (18 pounds) or more. The dried fruit is more than 50 percent sugar by weight and contains about 2 percent each of protein, fat, and mineral matter.