Palm tree of the genus Phoenix. The female tree produces the fruit, dates, in bunches weighing 9–11 kg/20–25 lb. Dates are an important source of food in the Middle East, being rich in sugar; they are dried for export. The tree also supplies timber, and materials for baskets, rope, and animal feed.
The most important species is P. dactylifera; native to N Africa, SW Asia, and parts of India, it grows up to 25 m/80 ft high. A single bunch can contain as many as 1,000 dates. Their juice is made into a kind of wine.