Areca catechu

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Name and publication

Areca catechu L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1189 (1753).

Description

The fibrous pericarps, or outer fruit walls, of the betel palm are cream to brown color in the native state, 4-5 cm x 2-2.5 cm. Commonly called fiber cups in the potpourri trade (or dafupi or areca peel in the Chinese pharmaceutical trade), the fiber may also be beaten to form dafumao or areca peel fibers.

Nativity and distribution

This palm is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, and Malesia but widely cultivated for the seeds, which are used as a masticatory and narcotic.

Family

Arecaceae (alt. Palmae)