A solitary, medium sized, water-loving, fast growing, monoecious, forest emergent, crownshaft palm. Common in cultivation, always cultivated in the wild. It has a smooth, light-grey trunk, 20 m. (66 ft.) tall, 20.3 cm. (8 inch) diameter with spaced ring leaf scars, and large segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 2 m. (7 ft.) long, 0.6 m. (2 ft.) wide, green above and beneath.
Often naturalized in the wild wherever it is cultivated. Almost certainly the commonest palm in South East Asia. This plant is suitable, while young as a houseplant or conservatory plant.
Areca catechu can tolerate close to freezing conditions. But low temperatures are best avoided. It naturally occurs in wet rainforest or seasonally wet forest in low montane locations. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly cool or mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme cold conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, and well wrapped up.
Origin unknown, probably the Philippines. Unripe seeds contain a mild narcotic and have been chewed by native peoples for centuries. Seeds germinate within 2 months and grow rapidly.
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