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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

ShaShinKi - Malaysia's Online Camera Shop!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Sugar Palm Tree

Botanical Name : Arenga pinnata,/Arenga saccharifera

Whoa!  Finally got that tingling feel of what it's like to be dwarfed by one of the hugely2 massive indigenous palms - known locally as the 'enau'.  It's petrifying - quite like coming face to face with the abominable snowman or a yeti.  The fronds of the palm are so long and large that they almost resemble the gigantic hairy arms ready to enfold someone.  So, scary was an understatement when standing beside (beneath?) this humongous plant.

Also known as the Gomuti Palm, it is widely found in India, Indonesia, South-east Asia and Malaysia.
                                                an opened ladies' umbrella for comparison

A look at the trunk is even more scary.  Loads of black, rough fibres enclosing the trunk coupled with long spindly black needles around them.  As this palm is found wild in the lowland forests, the trunk was unkempt and looked quite a tangled eerie mess.

           robust fibre covers
dangly 'arms'

                                     impressive feather fronds of dark green with silverish underside

The infloresence bears a bunch of small yellowish flowers and the round/oval fruits when mature turns purple.
Passed by several palms of the same species that were in fruit, however, as was travelling by coach, unable to request a photo stop.

A sweet sap can be tapped from the inflorescence stalk to make a rough palm sugar or be fermented into a crude alcohol drink. In addition, its young cabbage is edible too while the pith also yields a form of sago starch.

Overall, it does appear to be a strong, attractive palm and thrives in the tropics. Unfortunately, not the sort for a home garden or landscaping feature.

That's the 3rd specimen of palms gathered from around the sleepy Kuala Selangor/Sekinchan districts. I have had a field day as you all can see.  Great fun indeed!

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