Date palm, the fruit, the cultivars, and related matters

I didn’t find a topic dedicated to date palms, only some posts of people who have a passion or reasonable information about date palms (Greetings to them), so I decided to open this topic.

The number of cultivars is many. thousands of named cultivars, and dozen of them are important, popular and commercially promising.

So I will start with some of them:

Barhi (برحي), a cultivar from Iraq, and it has spread in various countries.

Majhul (مجهول), a cultivar from Morocco, and it has spread in various countries.

Deglet nour (دقلة نور), a cultivar from Algeria and entered Tunisia and Libya and others.
Deglet nour

Saidi (صعيدي), a cultivar occur in Egypt and Libya.

Zahdi (زهدي), a cultivar from Iraq and it has spread in various countries. the old & most grown cultivar in Iraq.

Piarom (پیارم), a cultivar from Iran and entered Iraq.

Maktoum (مكتوم), a cultivar occur in Iraq, Saudi, Syria, Jordan, Emarat and others.

Sag’ai (صقعي), a cultivar from Saudi and entered Iraq.


Dates vary, some are soft and some are dry (in certain areas) and some are semi-dry, some of them can be eaten in the pre-ripe stage (like Barhi, such as some cultivars of persimmon).
some of them can be eaten as much as you can, some of them “burns” if you eat a lot of them, some are almost cloying (overly sickeningly sweet).

The great thing that made the production of date palm shoots faster and made a leap in production was the tissue culture (as is done to bananas, strawberries, etc.). as well as transportation and storage (Like apples; makes the market and growers turn towards delicious ones, not those that can be stored for long (like Zahdi; or “red delicious” for apples))


Here in the US, Majhoul which means Unknown as in unknown variety, has always been called Madjool. Are they the same? Also, there’s delicious large black date that hails from Lebanon. Would you know what it’s called?

Do you know anything about the doum palm
( Hyphaene thebaica, with common names doum palm and gingerbread tree)

I want to try some of those Hard Dates types only read a little on them, but am interested to buy some. (I have some one I may try)

After I was also in New Orleans I was running to a storage unit
In a quick hurry before it closed with bag, and saw a large seed so stopped, and picked it up not knowing it was a DATE A few days later I was sick so stepped out of friends house, and talking on phone saw a big date tree then realized I had found a date earlier they dry and taste good.
(some people on forums try to eat them un prepared or undried.,)

Majhoul is the correct variety name, Madjool is a mistake in writing the name (I suppose the person who started this, is French)
I don’t know about the Lebanese dates, is it red/pink in the pre-ripe stage and looks like this picture.


I know about doum (الدوم), it is in Egypt, Sudan, Chad and that side, but it is wild not domesticated. and it’s not that close related to date palm.

1 Like

Oh I was wondering what does it taste like ?

I have some sad links about dates I posted before on a forum.

I found an Algerian who shared (in fb group) pictures of some of his country’s varieties, here are the pictures.
i (1)

i (6) i (8) i (9)
i (10)
i (11)

i (15)


I should not looked at these beautiful photos as now I am so hungry for a date! Never knew so many kinds existed! deglet and Majjoul are the only two I can find in my local supermarkets. I did see some date farms in Arizona had some neat websites that offered some different date varieties. Just never tried them.

We have a slow release fertilizer company in Wisconsin. I toured it one day and found their big clients were date growers in the middle east. This company puts the fertilizer in small packets that have holes in them. The fertilizer packs are put around the dates roots and can last 1-3 years depending on packet size.

Now I just need to find some date company in California or Arizona that sells a date sampler pack? Would sure enjoy trying all the dates shown in the photos above. Except for the dry, chewy types.

Looking for date recipes too! I like date bars. I seem to recall the Germans make Kummel torte which is made with dates. Thanks for starting such a wonderful topic!

1 Like

I remember them being black even in the pre-ripe stage

Thank you for setting the name Majhoul straight!!:wink:

Several forum members, including myself, have ordered from Bautista.
Google bautista+dates
I think their smallest sampler is 3 pounds.

1 Like

Majhoul are amazing in butter tarts. I’ve never been a fan of raisins in them, but it’s a popular style. Tried it recently with the posh dates and they are sooo good! ( using real maple syrup and walnuts helps too)
I’m generally cheap but have become a convert to the higher end dates. Luckily, there are often markdown deals on the ones brought in special after Ramadan and Eid.


Here are some pictures of other cultivars.

Blukah (بلكه) or Shwethi ahmer (شويثي أحمر), from Iraq.

Shwethi asfar (شويثي أصفر), from Iraq.

sukkari (سكري), from Saudi and entered Iraq.

Ajwa (عجوة), old cultivar from what now is Saudi, documented in history from +1400 years old, spread in a number of countries but not distinguished compared to the newer varieties.

Bariem (بريم), from Iraq.

Manakhir (مناخر) or Deglet elbey (دقلة الباي), from Tunisia, a variety similar to Deglet Nour but larger than it.


Since it’s black colored and large sized as you said, then it should be dark red/pink in pre-ripe stage (dates are either yellow, red, or a gradation in between).

1 Like

I have poor impulse control tonight, lol. While reading this topic I got curious and had to check and see if 7HotDates/Bautista Date Ranch had any left, and was surprised that this time of the year they did. So I’ve got a 3 lb sampler box of Khadrawy and Halawy dates ordered and on the way. I learned of the Bautista Date Ranch on here a few years ago, and could not be more satisfied with their product. The 5 lb box of Majhoul I ordered last Fall went surprisingly quick, I’ll have to ration these.


Thank you for posting all this great information! Found out I really don’t care for yellow dates like these. I’ve tried dates from all over as they are available. Sometimes the harder dates normally reserved for cooking can be very good. It seems I prefer hard dates that are dark and fully ripe rather than soft and overly sweet. If its soft and gooey i think i prefer persimmon. The California Date Harvest looks good

@clarkinks I’m like you, it’s okay for me to eat dates at that yellow pre-ripe stage, but I prefer mostly soft fresh dates, and dried/fully-ripe dates for some of soft varieties, not the dry ones.

Besides Barhi, that can eaten at pre-ripe stage (non astringent), here’s some of other similar varieties.
Horra (حرة), a cultivar occur in Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.

Lemsi (لمسي), a cultivar occur in Tunisia and Libya.

Bisr helou (بسر حلو), a cultivar occur in Tunisia and Libya.

Gharas suof (غرس سوف), a cultivar occur in Tunisia and Algeria.

Laylwi (ليلوي), a cultivar occur in Iraq.

Kantar (كنطار), a cultivar occur in Iraq.

Shabibi (شبيبي), a cultivar occur in Saudi Arabia.

Um addahin (أم الدهن), a cultivar occur in Iraq.

Jouzi (جوزي), a cultivar occur in Iraq.

Ashqar (أشقر), a cultivar occur in Iraq and Iran.

Zaghloul (زغلول), a cultivar occur in Egypt.



Great photos thanks for posting the additional information.

Date palm diseases and insects.

Bayoud disease (مرض البيوض), the most dangerous disease; caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. albedinis, occur in Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania, this disease caused disasters in Morocco and Algeria, leaving them only resistant palm varieties. and loss of genetic material (the gene pool) for date palms (extinction of many cultivars) in Morocco.

Fusarium wilt Disease, F. solani in Pakistan and F. oxysporum (not bayoud disease strain) and F. verticillioides in Saudi Arabia and others.

Inflorescence rot disease, (Khayas attala’a ‘خياس الطلع’ and Khamej ‘الخامج’), of the most dangerous diseases; several causes, caused by Mauginiella scaettae, and caused by Fusarium proliferatum, and caused by Ceratocystis paradoxa, is a widespread disease in virtually all date palm growing areas, infects the inflorescences of different varieties causing significant losses. especially in heavy rains before emergence of the spathes.
Other diseases that cause inflorescence rot are Serratia marcescens (occur in Kuwait), and Fusarium moniliforme and Alternaria Chlamydospora and Alternaria alternata.

Wilt of Fruit bunch, caused by Fusarium moniliforme, occur in Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Texas Phoenix Palm Decline, caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae, occur in USA and Mexico.

black scorch disease (مرض اللفحة السوداء), caused by Ceratocystis paradoxa, occur virtually all date palm growing areas.

Belaat Disease (مرض بلعت), caused by Phytophthora palmivora, occur in Iraq, Morocco, Algeria and Emarat; decline and disappearance of the top of the date palm

Fruit rot disease, several fungi causes, it spreads in areas where there is moisture or rain during the ripening period of dates, especially in some varieties or late-ripening varieties.

Graphiola leaf spot, caused by Graphiola phoenicis, occur in several countries.

Omphalia root rot, occur in USA (California) and Mauritania.

red palm weevil, widespread in several countries, it’s the most dangerous insect pest that attack date palms.

date palm scale. Parlatoria blanchardi, widespread in several countries.

Lol, after writing this diligently, I found that the FAO actually wrote about this, here is a link to the rest of the diseases and more detailed, CHAPTER XII: DISEASES AND PESTS OF DATE PALM, and read the rest of the book if you want, Date Palm Cultivation.