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by Vincent Battesti, Muriel Gros-Balthazard

- Varietal diversity and cultivation practices of the date palm in the AlUla oasis
Vincent Battesti & Muriel Gros-Balthazard.
in AlUla : Wonder of Arabia, 2nd ed., 2023, Paris, Skira, p. 38-41
Laïla Nehmé & Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani (eds.).
ISBN: 978-2-37074-200-1

 Chapter summary:

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) has been grown for millennia in Western Asia and North Africa. This palm is the flagship species of the oasis agrosystem. In the oasis of al-‘Ulā, the date palm has been exploited and cultivated for more than 3,000 years for its fruit rich in sugars, and for the materials it provides for construction, basketry, etc. Dates have long been both a staple food and a product of exchange. Hundreds of varieties of date palms have been identified throughout the world. The taste, sweetness, size, shape, and colour of the dates vary according to the variety, each bearing its own name. In al-‘Ulā, more than 90 varieties of date grown by farmers today have been identified and described by the project al-‘Ulā Date Palm Agrobiodiversity.