|Tailpot palm flowering at Kerala|
It is one of the largest palms in the world; individual specimens have reached heights of up to 25 m (82 ft) with stems up to 1.3 m (4.25 ft) in diameter. It is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with large, palmate leaves up to 5 m (16 ft) in diameter, with a petiole up to 4 m (13 ft), and up to 130 leaflets. The talipot palm bears the largest inflorescence of any plant, 6-8 m (20-26 ft) long, consisting of one to several million small flowers borne on a branched stalk that forms at the top of the trunk (the titan arum, Amorphophallus titanum, from the family Araceae, has the largest unbranched inflorescence, and the species Rafflesia arnoldii has the world's largest single flower). The talipot palm is monocarpic, flowering only once, when it is 30 to 80 years old. It takes about a year for the fruit to mature, producing thousands of round, yellow-green fruit 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) in diameter, each containing a single seed. The plant dies after fruiting.
The talipot palm is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, north to southern China. Historically, the leaves were written upon in various Southeast Asian cultures using an iron stylus to create palm leaf manuscripts. The leaves are also used for thatching, and the sap is tapped to make palm wine. In Malabar Coast, the palm leaves were used to make traditional umbrellas for agricultural workers and students in rural areas until a few decades ago. The tree is known as kudapana in Malayalam Language, which means "umbrella" palm tree.
At Jardin Botanique de Deshaies, Guadeloupe
- Johnson (1998). Corypha umbraculifera. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
- PACSOA: Corypha umbraculifera
- FAO reports: tropical palms, palm products, palms with development potential
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