Manila palm


Manila palm, or Christmas palm, is native to the Philippine Islands. It reaches a height of 20 feet, with a grayish, rough trunk up to 9 inches in diameter. The leaves are up to 6 feet long and are composed of two rows of leaflets. Inflorescences arise below the lowest leaf and are about 2 feet long, flowers are three-quarters of an inch wide. Ripe fruits are red and up to 1.25 inches long. Birds and bats eat the juicy pulp and disperse the seeds. It flowers and produces fruits throughout the year. The generic name derives from Adonis, one of the Roman gods. The species name honors the American botanist Elmer Drew Merrill (1876-1956).

The photographed palm is part of a row of specimens planted south of the main student parking lot. There are other rows of these palms along the hill leading to the Barcelona Street entrance, along the entrance across from the Chemical and Civil Engineering complex, and along the sidewalk to the Chemistry Building. This palm is very popular as an ornamental and is very abundant in the campus, specimens can be found near most buildings.

Adonidia merrillii (Arecaceae)