Phoenix dactylifera a tall tree, up to 80ft. in height, cultivated or occasionally found self-sown in some parts of India. Trunk covered with persistent bases of petioles, the base usually surrounded by a mass of offshoots or suckers; leaves in open crown, pinnate up to 5m long, greyish green, pinnae 20-40cm long, linear, keeled, lower pinnae modified into spines; flowers in branched spadices small; fruit an oblong berry, 2.5-7.5cm, long, reddish or yellowish brown when ripe; seed cylindric, bard, with a longitudinal furrow.Date palm has been known to exist from prehistoric times in the warm dry zone, extending from North-West Africa to South-West Asian Countries. It is extensively cultivated throughout this region. It is believed to be originally indigenous to countries around the Persian Gulf and even today Iraq remains the most important centre of the date production Dates have been cultivated in West Pakistan, probably since early Mohammedan invasions, and constitute an important fruit crop there. Cultivation of dates has also been taken up in some other warm countries, and in California and Arizona in USA it has assumed commercial importance.