The origin and geographical distribution of the ‘Mejhoul’ date cultivar

A. Zaid, A. Oihabi
The ‘Mejhoul’ date palm originated from the Tafilalet Valley in Morocco, which is administratively known as the Errachidia Province. Origination was confirmed by DNA analysis of several samples of ‘Mejhoul’ palms collected from diverse areas including Morocco, Egypt and the USA. This study shows that the ‘Mejhoul’ cultivar is a landrace variety of Morocco. During the 17th century, ‘Mejhoul’ was known as a high-quality date and its fruit was sold at a higher price than other cultivars in the markets of England and Spain (Wright, 2016). At that time, most of the dates brought to Europe came from Tafilalet (Hodel and Johnson, 2007). Unfortunately, the occurrence of the Bayoud disease, caused by a soil-born fungi (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. albedinis) which was described scientifically for the first time in 1919 by Foex and Vayssière intensively destroyed the Moroccan date plantations. ‘Mejhoul’ was among the most sensitive cultivars to the disease and therefore, fresh ‘Mejhoul’ dates disappeared from the European market after its production decreased significantly.
Zaid, A. and Oihabi, A. (2023). The origin and geographical distribution of the ‘Mejhoul’ date cultivar. Acta Hortic. 1371, 1-4
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1371.1
‘Mejhoul’, Morocco, date palm, Phoenix dactylifera

Acta Horticulturae