Description: The date palm is a tall, unbranched tree with a crown of huge, compound leaves. Its fruit is yellow when ripe.
Habitat and Distribution: This tree grows in arid semitropical regions. It is native to North Africa and the Middle East but has been planted in the arid semitropics in other parts of the world.
Edible Parts: Its fruit is edible fresh but is very bitter if eaten before it is ripe. You can dry the fruits in the sun and preserve them for a long time.
Other Uses: The trunks provide valuable building material in desert regions where few other treelike plants are found. The leaves are durable, and you can use them for thatching and as weaving material. The base of the leaves resembles coarse cloth that you can use for scrubbing and cleaning.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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