Borassus flabellifer

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Name and publication

Borassus flabellifer L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1187 (1753).


It seems almost every part of the toddy palm or palmyra palm is used in potpourri. The bracts (4-10 cm in diameter when whole) are called “palm caps,” the immature fruit (1-3 cm in diameter) is called “tal fruit,” the mature fruit (5-7 cm in diameter) is called “talami” or “palm cup halves,” slices of the fruit (5-8 cm long) are called “leather bark,” the cut leaf bases (15-20 cm long x 10-12 cm wide) are called “palm spears,” the knotted leaves (7-11 cm long) are called “knot leaves,” and twists of the leaves (6-8 cm long) are called simply “twisted leaves.”

Nativity and distribution

Borassus flabellifer is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, and Malesia but widely cultivated for its sugary fruit and as a source of fiber.


Arecaceae (alt. Palmae)