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Pakistan | Family List | Palmae | Borassus

Borassus flabellifer L., Sp. Pl. 1187. 1753. Becc. & Hook. F., l.c. 482; Talbot, l.c. 561; Benthal, l.c.; Whitmore, l.c.

English: Palmyra palm.

Vern.: Tar.


  • Borassus flabelliformis Roxb.

    Solitary palm with rough and black stem, 20-25 (-30) m tall. Petiole 60-120 cm, semiterete, edges with hard irregular spines; leaf blade 60-120 cm long, segments 60-80, linear-lanceolate, induplicate. Male inflorescence 90-150 cm long, with c. 7 primary branches, secondary branches c. 30 cm long, c. 2 cm in diameter; sepals narrowly cuneate with truncate inflexed tips; petals shorter, obovate-spathulate; anthers subsessile, large; female inflorescence with flowering portion to 30 cm long, 2.5 cm in diameter, flowers 8-16, spirally arranged, c. 2.5 cm in diameter; sepals fleshy, reniform; petals smaller; ovary subtrigonous; stigmas sessile, recurved. Fruits broadly ovoid, 15-20 cm in diameter, mesocarp fibrous and fleshy. Pyrenes usually 3, obcordate, 6-7 mm broad, black.

    Lectotype: Ampana Rheede, Hortus Indicus Malabaricus 1: 13-14, Pl. 10: Carimpana Rheede. op. cit. 11-12, pl. 9.1678-1703 (Moore & Dransfield in Taxon 28: 60, 62. 1979).

    Distribution: Probably native to India. Rarely cultivated in Pakistan (Karachi).

    Economically Palmyra palm is very important. It is a source of sugar and toddy, the sweet sap is extracted from the cut made in the inflorescence from which the juice exudes. The endosperm of young fruit is juicy and edible.


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