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Date Palms

in the ancient world

Mentioned by Pliny in his Natural History(1) as being ornamental and having medicinal properties, the True Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which was normally restricted to semi-deserts(2) was able to grow in Italy but was usually stunted and would not fruit(3)

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(1)Pliny's Natural History; XIII, 6,26

(2)Oxford Encyclopedia of trees of the world; p258

(3)Ancient Roman Gardens; Linda Farrar;1998; p141