dwarf sugar palm, formosa palm
Stem: Clustering palm to 5 m tall, usually covered with disintegrating, fibrous leaf bases that adhere to the stem after the leaf dies and falls away. Leaves: Pinnate, to 3 m long, with leaflets that are green above and silvery below. Leaflets are induplicate, the apical leaflet is praemorse, but other leaflets are more linear with jagged tips and margins. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescences are about 0.5 m long with many pendant branches. Flowers are yellow to orange, fragrant, with staminate and pistillate flowers on the same inflorescence. Ripe fruits are spherical, red, and about 1 cm long when mature. After the fruits ripen, the stem on which they grew dies while other stems in the cluster continue to grow. The fruits have a high concentration of oxalate that can be extremely irritating to human skin.
Lab: dark scales along leaflet midrib
Arenga temula is a similar clustering palm, but its leaflets are green above and below.
Native to Ryukyu Islands of Japan to Taiwan
Extreme care is required when handling the fruits of this species.
Arenga engleri Becc.
Didymosperma engleri ( Becc. ) Warb.