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Useful Tropical Plants

Arenga obtusifolia

Mart.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Gomutus obtusifolius Blume

Saguerus langbak Blume

Common Name:

Arenga obtusifolia
Ripening fruits
Photograph by: Cerlin Ng
Creative Commons License
Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia Arenga obtusifolia

General Information

Arenga obtusifolia is an evergreen, cluster-forming palm that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The unbranched stems can be 15 - 30cm in diameter, crowned with a rosette of around 8 large leaves[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
]. The plant produces new stems from a stoloniferous growth that can be up to 15 metres long[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. All species in this genus have either recognized or potential ornamental value[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Known Hazards

The fruits of most species in this genus are poisonous and are sometimes used criminally[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The fleshy mesocarp of the fruits usually contains many oxalate crystals, making the flesh inedible[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Steep hillsides in coastal areas[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
]. Primary rainforest, only rarely in secondary growth areas, at elevations up to 700 metres[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height8.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a sunny position[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
Unlike the majority of species in this genus, Arenga obtusifolia does not die after flowering. Flowering stems arise from every node on the stem, commencing at the lowest node and continuing upwards as the plant continues to grow[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - cooked[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
763
Title
Heart of Palm Use: A Family Survey
Publication
 
Author
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Website
http://www.virtualherbarium.org/palmresearch/Hearts_of_Palm_table.html
Publisher
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line article listing the botanical names and range of palm trees that have an edible apical bud.
]. The apical bud, known as a 'palm heart' is eaten as a vegetable[
763
Title
Heart of Palm Use: A Family Survey
Publication
 
Author
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Website
http://www.virtualherbarium.org/palmresearch/Hearts_of_Palm_table.html
Publisher
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line article listing the botanical names and range of palm trees that have an edible apical bud.
]. Harvesting this bud leads to the death of the stem since the plant is unable to make side shoots[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

The taller Arenga palms store large quantities of starch in their stem that are later converted into sugar to be translocated to the inflorescences. The sugar can be drawn off in the juice by tapping the peduncle and rachis of the male inflorescence[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. By far the most important sugar producer in the genus is Arenga pinnata, but other species are used similarly[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The leaves are used for thatching and wickerwork[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The wood is used to make small utensils, or is even used in construction, but it is said not to be durable[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed - a deep root is formed before the seedling emerges above soil level, and so the seed should be sown in individual, deep containers. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water before sowing. It can take 3 - 6 months or more before signs of growth are seen above soil level[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-08-08. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Arenga+obtusifolia>

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