One of the ginormous palms sighted todate! Everything about this young palm is humongous so the picture here may not indicate its true proportion but standing beside it, I felt like a David & Goliath.
A native of Southern India and Sri Lanka, it is widely cultivated throughout South-east Asia where its leaves are used for thatching and palm sap fermented into a wine.
Its impressive statistics would be somewhat a Guinness record of the flora kind. Some of its awesome and dramatic characteristics are - it can reach heights of 25m; it's monocarpic i.e. flowering only once in its lifetime between 30-80yrs; the largest unbranched inflorescence with uncountable (a million?) miniscule flowers; the fruits take about a year to mature and a sad quirk of nature - the palm dies after fruiting.
The long robust petioles can reach lengths up to 4m, looks clean and without spines while the large palmate leaves stretch out wide about 3-4m in diameter.
|playing host to epiphytic ferns|
Impressive but definitely not one for the small home garden!