Dating in the dark week 3
Dates are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco.Dates are also mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Qur'an.
Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants.Three main cultivar groups of date exist: soft (e.g. The date palm is dioecious, having separate male and female plants.'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality.Some growers do not even maintain any male plants, as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time.Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on ladders, or by use of a wind machine.In some areas such as Iraq the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber's back (called تبلية in Arabic) to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing.Parthenocarpic cultivars are available but the seedless fruit is smaller and of lower quality.growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system.The leaves are 4–6 metres (13–20 ft) long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets.Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars.Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants.