H. Wendl. & Drude
Nenga is a monoecious genus of flowering plant in the palm endemic to Southeast Asia, commonly called pinang palm. N. gajah is the aberration in the genus with its short internodes, marcescent leaves and interfoliar inflorescence, a combination of traits seen in a few species of the closely related Pinanga and Areca palms. The genus name is based on a corruption of a Javanese term for a plant now classified within Pinanga.
Their trunks may be clustering or solitary from 5 to 15 cm wide, rarely exceeding 5 m in height. The stems are ringed by distinct leaf scars and frequently supported by stilt roots. A distinct crownshaft is present in all but N. gajah, the petioles are well developed and bear pinnate leaves up to 2 m long. The leaflets are closely to widely spaced, regularly arranged, with one to several folds. They may be acute to acuminate, S-shaped to linear, the terminal pair usually obscurely lobed corresponding to the fold count; reaching 90 cm, they are usually deep green with a lighter underside. The rachis, petiole and crownshaft may be lightly to densely covered in hairy, brown tomentum.
The inflorescence is branched to one order, rarely to two, erect or pendulous, and emerges below the crownshaft in all but N. gajah which emerges within the leaf crown. The fleshy male and female flowers share the same branches, proximally arranged in triads and distally in pairs or singles. They produce an obpyriform to ovoid fruit with a thin, fleshy mesocarp and a fibrous endocarp. Colored red, purple or black the fruit carries one seed.
Distribution and habitat
- Nenga banaensis (Magalon) Burret - Vietnam
- Nenga gajah J.Dransf - Sabah, Sumatra
- Nenga grandiflora Fernando - Johor
- Nenga macrocarpa Scort. ex Becc. - southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia
- Nenga pumila (Blume) H.Wendl. - southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Sumatra
- H.A. Wendland & Drude, Linnaea 39:182. 1875.
- Uhl, Natalie W. and Dransfield, John (1987) Genera Palmarum - A classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore. Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press. ISBN 0-935868-30-5 / ISBN 978-0-935868-30-2
- Riffle, Robert L. and Craft, Paul (2003) An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-558-6 / ISBN 978-0-88192-558-6
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families