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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, July 21, 2010

The Dwarf Betel Nut Palm

Botanical Name : Areca catechu (dwarf)

What I like about writing this blog is that it continually challenges the way I used to 'see' things. So, when is a dwarf not a dwarf? This is exactly the one so contrary to its name.  Compared to the native 'pinang' or areca nut palm (also Areca catechu), this is definitely, no shrinking violet, if I may use this term on a flora.

                                                                 silhouette of dwarf palm

From observation, this specimen has a fatter, rounder trunk, a tighter crown of deep green fronds due to short petioles and even the pinnate leaflets are broader. And its creamy green crown shaft shows more bulge.This palm has grown quite tall too. So it's not the short, stumpy, ornamental form I'd visualised on specimen image.  Therefore, some discrepancy by association to preconceived visuals can be dropped from now on!

close up of inflorescence and fruits

                                                  clear and prominent rings around the trunk

Additional info is available in an earlier post The Areca Nut Palm.

Its ripe orange fruits (betel nuts) when dried are highly sought by locals and are chewed for both medicinal and stimulant properties.

 trunk and exposed roots

Interesting to note however, despite its strength and grace, this dwarf form is rarely planted (homes and landscaped gardens alike) and surprised even myself till now, to know it existed. Thanks to the Secret Garden!

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