Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia between 5530 and 5320 BC. They are believed to have originated around what is now Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them at harvest.
Phoenix canariensis, commonly called Canary Island date palm, is a large evergreen palm tree with a massive trunk that matures to 40-60′ (less frequently to as much as 90′) tall. Notwithstanding size, this palm is a slow grower which may only reach 10′ tall over the first 15 years. The trunk is topped with a rounded crown of upright arching palmate leaves which gracefully spread to 20-40′ wide. Although native to the Canary Islands, this palm is now grown in frost-free areas around the world.