Areca palm

 
 

Areca palm, areca-nut palm, or betel nut palm, is probably native to the Philippine Islands, its precise origin is unknown because it has been cultivated for centuries in Asia. It reaches a height of 60 feet, with a green (gray in old palms) ringed trunk up to 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are up to 5 feet long and are composed of two rows of leaflets with tips generally jagged. Inflorescences arise below the lowest leaf and are about 1 foot long. Ripe fruits are yelowish-orange and up to 2.5 inches long. It flowers mostly during spring and summer, fruits mature mainly during autumn and winter. In Asia the seeds are cut in segments which are chewed as a stimulant. The generic name derives from the name used for these palms in southern India. The species name probably derives from a name for the species in Malaysia.


The photographed palm is west of the Piñero Building. There are several other specimens in the campus; for example, behind the Sánchez Hidalgo Building, in front of the Chemistry Building, in front of the Chemical Engineering Building, west of the Stefani Building, and southeast of the Lucchetti Building.

Areca catechu (Arecaceae)