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Palm branches occurred as iconography in sculpture ornamenting the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, on Jewish coins, and in the sculpture of synagogues.

They are also used as ornamentation in the Feast of the Tabernacles.

A date palm cultivar, probably what used to be called Judean date palm, is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years.

Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long, and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety.

Dates contain a single stone about 2–2.5 cm (0.8–1.0 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) thick. The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose, and sucrose content.

In later times, traders spread dates around South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain.

Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards in 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.

Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars.

Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants.

Some growers do not even maintain any male plants, as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time.

Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on ladders, or by use of a wind machine.

In some areas such as Iraq the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber's back (called تبلية in Arabic) to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing.

Parthenocarpic cultivars are available but the seedless fruit is smaller and of lower quality.

Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, ka'ak (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items.

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