One of the most conspicuous trees.. Wild Date Palm (Phoenix Sylvestris/खजुर, शिंदी) is a graceful tree with attractive crown. It is a fast growing palm that can get up to 40-50ft tall. It has a solitary robust trunk, with interesting diamond pattern created by leaf scars.
The Wild Date Palm produces small white flowers supported by 2-3ft long branching inflorescence coming from among the leaves. The tree is dioecious, male and female flowers are born on different plants. Flowers are followed by oval, single seeded fruits, turning purple-black when ripe. Fruits are editable and have sweet taste.
Other parts of the tree have their uses. Sleeping mats are woven from the leaves and baskets from the leaf-stalks; these are also twisted into ropes used, among other things, for drawing water from wells. The leaves can also be used as roughage. The tree is valued for its sap, which is extracted and distilled into a potent spirit.
The palm has numerous medicinal properties. The fruit is cooling, oleaginous, cardiotonic, fattening, constipative, good in heart complaints, abdominal complaints, fevers, vomiting and loss of consciousness. It is also used in the cure for gonorrhea. The juice obtained from the tree is considered to be a cooling beverage. The plants growing in the plains yield a good amount of juice which is used for making toddy and jaggery. The juice, as such, can also be drunk.
The tree can be a agroforestry species as it provides a good fodder for cattle and is believed to increase the fat content of milk. It is an ornamental tree and can also be used as an avenue plant. Though it is one of the first fruit trees to be cultivated, nowadays its often neglected.