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0. P. W. Collection. Plate CX
THE DATE PALM.
The date, which is a native of North Africa, Arabia, and Persia, is a noble palm, often growing to a height of from 80 to 100 feet. It is of remarkable longevity, and will continue to produce fruit even at the age of a hundred years. The neighborhood of the sea is considereed unfavorable to their production, although they will luxuriate in satlish soil and bear well when brackish water is used.
Many varieties of dates exist, the fruit differing in shape, size and color. They will grow from seeds, although the superior varieties can be continued only from off-shoots of the root. These will commence to bear in five years. In Asia, the growers of the commercial date find it necessary to pollinate artificially by hanging sprays of the male flowers in the branches of the fruit-bearing trees. There are no imported trees bearing in Hawaii, and although there are many date trees in Honolulu, artificial pollination would doubtless greatly increase the yield and the quality of the fruit.
0. P. W. Collection. Plate CXI
The accompanying cut shows fruit from two of the best date trees in Honolulu, and it is curious to note that both of them were grown from seeds taken from packages of dried dates purchased from a local grocer.
0. P. W. Collection. plate CXII
This interesting palm is seldom seen in Hawaii; there being but two specimens of its kind that have produced fruit in Honolulu. Its stem is capitately thickened at the persistent bases of the armed petioles. The glaucous leaves are pari-pinnate with narrow, lanceolate, accumulate segments, having a prominent mid-rib.
The inflorescence is simple and branching. The fruit is arranged similar to that of Cocos, each about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, sub-globose with a pointed apex. When ripe, it is a bright yellow, and its juicy, edible pulp has the flavor of apricots.