Taraw palm


Taraw palm, or serdang, is native to Indonesia and the Philippine Islands. It reaches a height of 90 feet, with a gray trunk up to 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are up to 4 feet wide and about halfway split into many segments which hang toward the end, giving the crown a fountain-like aspect; the petiole does not split at the base and has two rows of large spines. Inflorescences arise among the leaves and are up to 5 feet long. Ripe fruits are dark-blue or violet and up to 1 inch in diameter. It flowers and produces fruits throughout the year. The generic name honors Patrick Murray, Baron of Livingston at the middle of the 17th century. The species name derives from its common name in the Molucca Islands.

The photographed palm is one of two specimens planted by Henry Cowles and Severo Vélez southwest of the Lucchetti Building, probably before 1940.

Flowers: this link.

Livistona saribus (Arecaceae)