A highly polymorphic species, within which several varieties have at times been distinguished[
Areca aliceae W.Hill ex F.Muell.
Areca borneensis Becc.
Areca humilis Blanco ex H.Wendl.
Areca laxa Buch.-Ham.
Areca nagensis Griff.
Areca polystachya (Miq.) H.Wendl.
Nenga nagensis (Griff.) Scheff.
Ptychosperma polystachyum Miq.
The more common, multi-stemmed form
Photograph by: CRCHF
Areca triandra is an evergreen palm, sometimes with a solitary stem but more often suckering at the base to form a clump of stems. It grows up to 7.5 metres tall, with unbranched stems up to 8cm in diameter, each of which are topped by a crown of leaves 120 - 180cm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild as a food and source of materials. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
E. Asia - northeast India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.
An understorey plant in forest margins and the undergrowth of seasonally flooded alluvial forest at low elevations[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the moist tropics, it can also be grown in subtropical areas[
]. It can tolerate light frosts, having survived temperatures down to -2.5°c[
Plants require shade when young, but become somewhat more tolerant of the sun as they grow older[
]. Prefers a moist but well-drained soil[
The plant can flower almost all year round, the fruit tsking about 7.5 months to ripen[
The plant may form highly sterile hybrids with Areca catechu, and may be useful in breeding programmes[
The apical bud, often called a palm cabbage, is edible[
]. Harvesting this bud leads to the death of the stem because the plant is unable to form side branches. If the plant is a form with a solitary stem then this obviously means the death of the plant[
The seeds are sometimes used as an inferior substitute for those of areca palm (Areca catechu)[
]. These uses are as follows:-
Seed - raw. The seed has mild narcotic properties, it is widely used in some areas of the tropics as a masticatory, being mixed with the leaves of a pepper plant (Piper betle), a gum and, often, lime[
]. Betel seeds contain tannins and alkaloids - these stimulate saliva flow, accelerate heart and perspiration rates, suppress hunger and offer positive protection against intestinal worms[
The leaves are used for thatching[
The stems are used as posts[
Seed - sow fresh in a nursery seedbed or in containers. It takes 6 - 10 months to germinate[
Basal suckers can be removed from the parent plant and transplanted[
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