Caryota tremula Blanco
Didymosperma tremulum (Blanco) H.Wendl. & Drude ex B.D.Jacks.
Wallichia tremula (Blanco) Mart.
Arenga tremula is a cluster-forming, evergreen palm growing up to 4 metres tall. The unbranched stems can be 8 - 12cm in diameter, crowned by a rosette of about 6 leaves[
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[
The fruits of most species in this genus are poisonous and are sometimes used criminally[
The fleshy mesocarp of the fruits usually contains many oxalate crystals, making the flesh inedible[
Southeast Asia - southern China, Philippines.
Lowland areas in primary rainforest, only rarely in secondary growth areas[
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Individual stems do not flower until they are mature. A flowering shoot is produced from each node on the stem, commencing with the node at the top of the plant and working down to the base. Vegetative growth ceases when the first flowering shoot is produced, and the stem dies once flowers have been produced from the basal node[
]. Multi-stemmed species, such as this one, usually produce new stems and so the plant does not die when individual stems die[
The apical bud (known as a 'palm heart') of all the species in this genus is edible and is used as a vegetable. However, consuming large quantities of the buds is not advised since, in some species (especially Arenga tremula) they can provoke toxic effects[
]. Harvesting the apical bud also leads to the death of the individual stem, since it is unable to produce side shoots[
The stems are a source of starch[
The leaves are used for thatching and wickerwork[
The petioles and midribs are used to make baskets[
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[
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