Hill Areca Palm
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Hill Areca Palm
E Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Hill Areca Palm, Hill Areca Nut • Malayalam: Kanthakamugu, Kantal, Kanthal • Tamil: Kantha panai, Varei kamugu, Varukamuvu
Botanical name: Bentinckia condapanna    Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)

Hill Areca Palm is a palm with a smooth trunk 10 m tall, grey with annulate scaring. It has a sparse crown of arching fronds. Leaves are compound, pinnate, 1.5-2 m long; leaflets 60-75 x 2.5-5 cm, linear oblong, 2-3 united, tip usually bifid; lobes 5-10 cm. Inflorescence: Spadix from axil of fallen leaves just below crown. Spathes are many, membranous, flowers small, sunken in branches of spadix; male flowers scarlet; female flowers lilac or violet, flower-cluster-stalks branched. Fruit is nearly spherical, rather compressed, 1-1.2 cm. in diameter, red, 1-seeded. Hill Areca Palm is endemic to Southern Western Ghats.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Peppara WIldlife Sanctuary, Kerala.

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