The botanical name of the date palm is Phoenix dactylifera L., and it is an important member of the family Palmacea. There are over 2000 different date varieties, which vary in shape, size, and weight. Usually they are oblong in shape, although certain varieties may be almost round. The length ranges from 1.8 to 11.0 cm, and the width from 0.8 to 3.2 cm; the average weight per fruit is 2—60 g (Zaid, 2002). As with the fruit, the seed characteristics also vary greatly according to variety, and environmental and growing conditions. The seed weight ranges from 0.5 g to 4 g, the length from 1.2 to 3.6 cm, and the width from 0.6 to 1.3 cm. The seed is usually oblong, ventrally grooved, with a small embryo, and with a hard endosperm made of a cellulose deposit on the inside of the cell walls (Zaid, 2002).
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