Bottle Palm
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Bottle Palm
P Introduced Photo: Chintan Bhatt
Common name: Bottle Palm
Botanical name: Hyophorbe lagenicaulis    Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)
Synonyms: Mascarena lagenicaulis, Mascarena revaughanii

Bottle palm has a large swollen (sometimes bizarrely so) trunk. It is a myth that the trunk is a means by which the palm stores water. Bottle palms have only four to six leaves open at any time. Leaf fronds are compound, mildly recurving, ascending to spreading, upwardly arching, 4 to 6; leaflets stiff, narrow, up to 140, each about 60 cm long. The flowers of the palm arise from under the crownshaft, borne in branched inflorescences, cream, horn-like, about 75 cm long. Fruits are oblong, ripening from green to orange to black, about 3 cm long. The genus name Hyophorbe comes from the Greek hys, 'a pig', phorbe, in reference to the fruit being eaten by pigs. Its species name lagenicaulis means 'with a flask-shaped stem' in Latin, in reference to its stem. Bottle Palm is native to Mauritius, cultivated elswhere.

Identification credit: Revati Gindi, Chintan Bhatt Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra.

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