Physical Properties and Resistance to Detachment of Date Palm Male Flowers (Cv. Ghanami)



With the aim of a determination of physical properties of date palm male flowers, as well as optimum flower detachment conditions, this study was carried out in two parts. In the first part of the study, the palm groves of Khuzestan Province were totally surveyed. “Ghanami” cultivar was in the end selected to be studied as the superior cultivar in the region. Drying up of the male flowers at 70°C in a standard oven and for 24 hours was found to be a rapid and appropriate method for moisture content determination. The final moisture contents of male flowers for red and green Ghanami cultivars, under normal conditions, were found out as 10 and 10.3 percent (w.b.) respectively. Results indicated that the force required for a detachment of an individual flower reaches its minimum at 2 days after opening of the spathe and when the inflorescence is dried under ambient conditions. At this time flower detachment mean force was estimated about 0.6 N for either of red and green Ghanami cultivars. After this time past the flower-strand joint becomes tougher with the passage of time, following a trap-like curve. Optimum thermal conditions for flower detachment was studied in the second part of the study. Results showed that 25°C (ambient temperature) led to a significant decrease in the time required to reach the minimum flower detachment force in comparison with the lower temperatures of 5 to -15°C. This time was 2 days, which is in match with that found in the early part of the study.