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Fruits & Vegetables

Date plum

Botanical Name: Diospyros lotus
Family: Ebenaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. lotus

Synonyms:
*Dactylus trapezuntinus Forssk.
*Diospyros calycina Dippel
*Diospyros mediterranea Oken
*Diospyros microcarpa Siebold
*Diospyros umlovok Griff.

Common Names: Date-plum, Caucasian persimmon, or Lilac persimmon

Habitat:
The species area extends from East Asia to the west of the Mediterranean, down to Spain. The date-plum is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks as “God’s fruit”, hence the scientific name of the genus. Its English name probably derives from Persian Khormaloo literally “date-plum”, referring to the taste of this fruit which is reminiscent of both plums and dates. The fruit is called Amlok in Pakistan and consumed dried. This species is one candidate for the “lotus tree” mentioned in The Odyssey: it was so delicious that those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the lotus-eaters.

The tree grows in the lower and middle mountain zones in the Caucasus. They usually grow up to 600 m above sea level. In Central Asia, it rises higher—up to 2000 m. They rarely grow in stands but often grow with hackberry, ash, maple and other deciduous species. It is not demanding on the soil and can grow on rocky slopes but requires a well lit environment.

It is cultivated at the limits of its range, as well as in the U.S. and North Africa.

Description:
Date plum is an attractive, slow growing, spreading and deciduous tree that can reach a maximum height of 30 m but typically is about 15 m tall. The plant grows best in well-drained loamy soil. It will tolerate acid, alkaline or neural soils but will not thrive in chalky, clay or very dry soils. It doesn’t like soils with poor drainage or too much moisture. Stem is erect with gray-green bark that breaks down as the trees become older.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Leaves:…….CLICK & SEE
Leaves are shiny, leathery, and elliptical to oblong, rounded to broadly cuneate at base, up to 6-12 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide with pointed ends and pubescent underside. They do not become yellow in autumn, although they fall with the first cold days of this season.

Flowers:….CLICK & SEE
Date plum is a dioecious plant with male and female flowers growing on different trees. Male flowers are produced on shoots in groups of up to three, while the female flowers are solitary and hang down in rows, both of which bloom from June to July. Calyx with 4 short, acute, ciliate lobes is villous within. Corolla is reddish or greenish-white, with recurved, rounded, ciliate lobes 1/2 as long as the tube. At least both a male and female plant will be required to get seeds. However, the female tree can produce seedless fruits in the absence of a pollinator.

Fruits:…….CLICK & SEE

Fertile flowers are followed by berries with juicy flesh, 1–2 cm in diameter. Fruits are initially green turning to yellow as they mature. Seeds with thin skin and a very hard endosperm are present

Edible Usage:
*Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked.
*Fruit has a superbly rich flavor when it is fully ripe (almost at the point of going bad), but it is very harsh and astringent before then.
*Fruit can be dried, when it acquires a date-like flavor.
*Date plum fruits are used in making breads and pastries.
*They are commonly prepared as a jam, mixed with sugar and a bit of lemon.
*These fruits are also well suited for bakery products, in particular pies and cakes.
*They are an excellent ingredient in breakfast combinations, combined with oats, granolas or various cereals.
*They are also used in making of dried fruit leathers, jams and jellies, sweets, ice cream and sweet sauces.
*The fruit pulp freezes well and can be used to make a brandy.

Caucasian persimmon fruits are edible and contain lots of sugars, malic acid, and vitamins. They are used as fresh fruits or after frost, but usually dried. Drying and frost destroy their tartness.

Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses:
*Fruit is febrifuge and is also used to promote secretions.
*Seed is regarded in China as being sedative.
*The anti-cancerous substance present in the plant helps the body fight against brain cancer, tumors in head and neck.
*Apart from the entire major healing properties it also aids in fighting asthma and lung infections.
*Date plums, owing to its medicinal properties are largely used in treating fever, anxiety, stress and also diarrhea.
*Consuming date plum is said to help against digestive issues like constipation and dysentery, as well as hemorrhoids.
*It is also useful in cases of hiccups, diarrhea, and asthma or lung infections, due to some astringent compounds in its composition.
*Immature date plum fruits have a cooling effect and can treat constipation.
*Since ancient times, date plums were known as a cure for lung infections, asthma and other respiratory problems.

Other Uses:
*Wood is durable, pliable, resists rot and is used for construction, general carpentry etc.
*Sometimes it is used as a root stock for D. kaki

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date-plum
https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/date-plum/

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