December 15
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Plant Species of the genus Arenga

Information about this genus
Name: Arenga
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Arengas are vigorous palms that adapt well to cultivation, most of them able to survive in frost-free warm-temperate climates as well as in the tropics. They do best in sheltered but sunny situations with ample soil moisture. All the multi-stemmed species will grow readily in pots or tubs in a conservatory and take years to outgrow their containers. Propagate from seed, which may take months to germinate, or the clumping species may be divided.
Description: An interesting genus of palms, Arenga consists of about 20 species from tropical and subtropical East Asia extending to northeastern Australia and the Solomon Islands. They vary in size from diminutive palms of rainforest undergrowth with pencil-thick stems, to massive solitary trees that emerge above the canopy. Some of the larger ones, notably Arenga pinnata, are a source of palm sugar, obtained by cutting off the immature flowering branches and catching the syrup that exudes from the stumps. Many have trunks sheathed in mats of blackish fibers that can be stiff enough to make brooms. The fronds vary from undivided blades in the smallest species to truly massive affairs of numerous leaflets, in form like a giant feather or plume. Flowering branches are produced in a curious fashion, the first appearing at the top of the fully grown trunk, followed by a succession of flowering branches down the trunk; after the lowest sets fruit the whole tree dies. This behavior is confined to the single-trunked species, the multi-stemmed ones producing flowers in succession up the trunk. The flowers are quite large for palms, mostly creamy yellow or orange and highly perfumed. Fruits contain 1 to 3 large seeds in a gelatinous flesh that is highly irritant to the skin and mouth.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Arenga australasica 11-12
Arenga engleri 9-12
Arenga pinnata 10-12
Arenga porphyrocarpa 11-12
Arenga undulatifolia 11-12

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