December 13
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Plant Species of the genus Borassus

Information about this genus
Name: Borassus
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: Successful cultivation requires a tropical climate. They will tolerate a long dry season as long as the roots have access to groundwater, although they also thrive well enough in the wet tropics. Full sun is essential and a deep, porous, well-drained soil suits them best. Propagation is by seed only, which may take 3 months or more to germinate. As soon as seeds show signs of sprouting they should be planted in individual containers, 18 in (45 cm) or more deep, to accommodate the thick, downward-growing cotyledon from the tip of which arises both the erect growing shoot and the roots.
Description: A genus of massive fan palms, Borassus consists of around 10 species ranging through tropical Africa and Asia as far east as New Guinea, growing mainly on open sandy plains and along river banks. Their thick, solitary trunks are generally covered in the remains of old frond stalks forming a criss-crossing pattern. This is due to the stalk bases each being split into a shape like an inverted Y, though on taller older specimens these tend to be shed, leaving a bare gray trunk. The fronds are divided into tapering segments that radiate rather stiffly or may droop somewhat. Male and female flowers are borne on different trees, the flowering branches half-hidden among the fronds and bearing the small flowers on catkin-like lateral branches. On the females large fruits develop, up to about 8 in (20 cm) in diameter, with a fibrous husk in which are embedded 1 to 3 large seeds each enclosed in a hard blackish ?stone?. Some Borassus species have a wide range of uses, most notably as sources of palm sugar, tapped from cut flowering branches, often fermented to make palm wine or spirits.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Borassus aethiopum 11-12
Borassus flabellifer 11-12
Borassus sundaica 11-12

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