If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Caryota cumingii

Lodd. ex Mart.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Caryota blancoi Hook.f.

Caryota merrillii Becc.

Common Name:

Caryota cumingii
Inflorescences
Photograph by: W. H. Hodge
Creative Commons License
Caryota cumingii Caryota cumingii Caryota cumingii

General Information

Caryota cumingii is a solitary-stemmed, evergreen palm tree growing about 12 metres tall. The unbranched stem is up to 20cm in diameter, it is crowned by a rosette of 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.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for its edible bud and the pith in its stem, which are used locally. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
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 mesocarp (flesh of the fruit) contains irritating needle-like Calcium oxalate crystals[
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.
].

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Philippines.

Habitat

Rainforest[
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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a sunny, moist, but well drained 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.
].
The species in this genus are monocarpic, growing for several years (in some species 15 years or more) without flowering, but then flowering and fruiting profusely over several years before dying[
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.
].
Before reaching maturity, selected inflorescences are prepared for tapping by beating with a wooden stick and are then tied with a string to keep them in a proper shape. If possible, a number of inflorescences are tied together. A concoction of herbs, salt and ash may be applied to the tip of the inflorescence. Tapping begins 3 - 4 days later by making a fine angular slash. A receptacle, usually a piece of bamboo, is hung under the tapping point to catch the sap. The inflorescence is cut afresh in the morning and evening for 3 - 4 months, until none remains[
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

The pith of the stem is a source of sago starch[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Because the outside stem is very tough, the plant tends to get utilized for its starch mainly in times of food shortage[
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.
].

Apical bud - eaten as a vegetable[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Somewhat bitter[
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.
]. Eating this bud leads to the death of the plant since it is unable to produce side branches[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

We have no specific information for this species, but the inflorescence of many members of this genus (especially the taller species) is tapped and the liquid used for making sugar, alcoholic beverages etc[
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.
].
After harvest the sap may be boiled in an open pan to produce jaggery. If the sap is allowed to ferment for 12 hours it turns into a pale or cloudy wine with a rather sour taste. Fermented toddy may still be boiled down to a thick syrup and be preserved as a treacle. The treacle can be allowed to crystallize to form a sweetmeat[
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 seeds can be used as a masticatory in place of betel nut (Areca catechu)[
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 leaf sheath fibre ('kittul') from plants in this genus is durable and is often harvested as a source of thatch, cordage, and to make brushes and brooms[
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 fibre becomes very pliable after being steeped in linseed oil[
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 woolly hairs on the leaf sheaths, petioles and rachis can be used as tinder or as wadding. They may also be used to caulk wooden boats[
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 finer fibre can also be spun into fishing lines or coarse threads for sewing[
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 -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-05-26. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Caryota+cumingii>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.