Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Date Palm Flower (খেজুর ফুল) - Phoenix dactylifera

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Bengali Name : Khejur ful (খেজুর ফুল).
Common Name : Date palm flower.
Botanical Name : Phoenix dactylifera
Family : Arecaceae

In Bangladesh the Date Palm is known as Khejur (খেজুর). It is a plant that was originally native to the Arabian region (yet not confirmed). But right it is cultivated widely throughout the world. It's botanical name is Phoenix dactylifera, and it belongs to the plant family Arecaceae.

Date palm is a single stem slender plant and having the leafs at the top of it. Leafs occur in a hard leaflet. Each of the small leafs are slim, hard, and having a thorn at the apex. The leafs at the lower part of the leaflet are small and very hard which resemble a thorn. This plant has numerous roots at the base of the stem (even seen above the ground).

Male and female Date palm trees are different. In both case the flower is inflorescence which uses to come on a long hard stalk. The flowers use to emerge from the axil of the one year old leaflet and the stem. Small flowers are white in color (or may be creamy). Each of the small flowers are having three petals.

Date palm is mainly cultivated for its edible fruits in Arab region. But in out country this tree is not famous for producing quality fruits, but popular for its sap which we collect during the winter. We use to peel the bark from the stem at the top of the tree and hang a pot on there to collect the sap overnight. This sap is a tasty drink during the winter morning. Also it is a raw material to prepare the palm sugar (locally known as gur) and molasses.

Date palm fruits are green initially and later turned into yellow/orange. The dried date fruits are having high nutrients and popular here in Bangladesh (also in other Muslim countries) during the holy ramadan to break the fast. The Arab region is the main supplier of the dried dates amongst the whole world.

The date leafs are hard (even after dried up). That's why it is a good material for the poor people to prepare a shed on their hut. Also in some countries these leafs are used for making crafts. In Bangladesh I have seen people are selling the crafts (flowers mainly) which were made from the immature leafs which look whitish/creamy in color.

Date palm fruit.

A pot is placed with the tree to collect the sap during the whole night.

A traditional pot that uses to collect date palm's sap.

A Chestnut-tailed starling is having a sip from the date palm's sap.

A Red-vented bulbul is foraging around the date palm tree.

Photos of this article were taken from several places of Bangladesh during June 2013 (Jessore) and January 2015 (Chandpur, Pirojpur).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

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