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VOl. I. THE DATE PALM. RELIABLE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE DATE, FURN ISHED BY THE U. S. GOVERNMENT. The Agricultural Department at Washington has recently published a pamphlet on "The Date Palm and Its Culture," by Walter T. Swingle, Agricultural Explorer, Section of Seed and Plant Intro duction, from which we take extracts that will be of great interest to those who have interests in the Imperial Settlements, as this section of the United States is pointed out as being the great date country of the future so far as the United States is concerned. The «l:tt •- palm was one of th«- first plants to be cultivated, It having been grown for more than four thou sand years along the Euphrates ItiviT It has been for ages, and i>- DATK I'M. MS IN* PULL HEARING AT IIONLON HKADINU ON TIIK LAND OWNKD HY TIIK CALIFORNIA HKVKI.OI'MKNT COMPANY AS A lIBADINQ KOH THE IMPERIAL CA^AL SYSTEM ON TIIK COLORADO RIVKK. Ht lll. the most Important food plant •if the great deserts, and many re giona in the Sahara ami In Arabia Would not bo hahltablo wen* it not for this plant. . . . For centurlea tho transport of dates luih been tho chief motive for the formation of meat caravan routes which run In every direction through tho deserts of Anla and Africa. The oxporta of dates lo Europe and to America has been and is still an Important Industry both In North Africa and In the rpuntrlea belonging; to the Persian (itilf. Tho value of the dntca Import - 44 Water is King- Here is its Kingdom." IMPERIAL, CM., SATURDAY, NOVEMBER Hi, 1901. Ed in the Cnlted StateH alone aver aged for the t<Mi years ending June i»i. 1900, $402,702 |mt annum, as ap- j praised «t the exporting points. The ! real value when received at the ! American ports was doubtless 50 per cent, greater or JGOO.OOO a year, an amount now exceeded only by the Im ports of two other dried fruits - Zante (Ui i ants and Smyrna Hks. . Peculiarities of the Date. Unllko most of the ordinary fruit trees, the date palm ban the male and female (lower on separate individuals. It grown from seed, about half of the resulting palum are mate and about liali fotnale. If Buch trees bo allowed to grow to maturity in thlH propor tion enough pollen Is blown by the wind to fortlltxo all (no Rowers prop AND FARMER. crly. It would be, however, a very expensive method of culture to Irri gate and cultivate such a large pro portion <>f male trees. The Arnlm — and before th«*m l\w AssyrlariH — learned to pollinate the palm artifi cially, and from a Hfnall proportion of male trwH to fertilize the flowers of n very great number of female trees. At the present time the proportion followed in planting Is that of about one malo tree to one hundred female treen. The date palm (lowers In the early spring, producing from six to twenty flower clusters, according to the a«e and vigor of tne treo. Kadi flower cluster on the female tree produces a bunch of <lat<-s consisting of nu merous fruits, borne on slender twits, which branch from a main stalk. Such a bunch may bear from 15 to ::>' |>bitncla of dates when ripe and a vigorous tree is commonly al lowed to produce from el«bt to twelve such buuehes. . . Needs Plenty of Water. The date palm ileiuumls a fairly abundant ami, above nil, a constant j supply of water at the roots; at tho 1 same time, It delights in a perfectly dry and very hot climate, A well known Arabian proverb runs: "Tho dato palm, the queen of tree**, must have her feet in running wnter and her head In the burning sky." It Is • HH'-ntlal in order to avoid disappoint* ment that these factors bo kept in mind by all who attempt to cultivate date palms: First, the roots must have water; second, the leaves re quire a hot, dry atmosphere with abundant sunlight, If the plant Is to mature dates of a good quality. An other essential requirement of the trws l« that the winters be not too cold. The date palm Is able to stand much more cold than an orange tree, for example, but not so much as a peach tree, and probably not even so much as a ug tree, which can sprout up from the roots if the twigs be killed by an unusually cold snap, whereas the date palm is usually killed if the terminal bud be froz en. . . . Also No Rains. In the Sahara no misfortune Is more feared by the* inhabitants than a heavy rain just as the fruit is ripen ing. Such «t disaster may entail the loss of the entire crop If the rain Is followed by a few days of cloudy and humid weather. . . . For Five Thousand Years. It is probable that the date palm \ was tlrst extensively grown in the I valley of tho Euphrates. It was ap parently little known and but slightly esteemed In ancient Egypt before 3QOO li. C, although as early as 2000 Is. C. No. 31.