Date (Phoenix dactylifera)
The date palm is among the oldest of the world's ancient crop plants. First brought into cultivation more than 5,000 years ago, dates are now grown extensively in Africa and southern Eurasia. They are an important food in these regions and have cultural and religious significance. Dates are popular elsewhere in the subtropics and tropics as an ornamental plant and a fruit crop. They require arid conditions and careful management for proper fruit formation.