Areca whitfordii is an evergreen, single-stemmed palm that can grow up to 10 metres tall. The unbranched stem can be up to 20cm in diameter and is topped by a crown of large leaves, each up to 2.5 metres long[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use of its seed, which is used as a substitute for betel nut (Areca catechu).
Slash and burn agriculture affects most localities where this plant grows. It is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southeast Asia - Philippines.
Semi-swampy forest, at low elevations, where it can be common in river swamps[
The seeds are used as a 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[
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