1. Family: Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Areca L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia.

    [FTEA]

    Palmae, John Dransfield. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1994

    Habit
    Minute to large, solitary or clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms, almost always with a well-defined crownshaft
    Leaves
    Leaves reduplicately pinnate, sometimes flabellate or undivided, often with compound leaflets composed of many folds
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence axillary, usually infrafoliar but occasionally interfoliar, anthesis usually occurring after leaf fall, branching to 3 orders; prophyll enclosing the inflorescence in bud, splitting and usually falling at anthesis; peduncular bracts absent; rachillae bearing basal triads of flowers, each with 1 central ♀ flower and two lateral ♂ flowers, and distal paired or solitary, 2 ranked or spiral ♂ flowers
    Flowers
    Male flower usually opening long before the ♀, often heavily scented, small, usually with 3 free or fused sepals and 3 free acute valvate petals; stamens 3–24 (or more); pistillode present or absent Female flower much larger than the male, with imbricate rounded sepals and petals; staminode vestiges minute or absent; ovary unilocular, tipped with 3 massive reflexed stigmas, usually with copious nectar at anthesis; ovule 1, basally attached
    Male
    Male flower usually opening long before the ♀, often heavily scented, small, usually with 3 free or fused sepals and 3 free acute valvate petals; stamens 3–24 (or more); pistillode present or absent
    Female
    Female flower much larger than the male, with imbricate rounded sepals and petals; staminode vestiges minute or absent; ovary unilocular, tipped with 3 massive reflexed stigmas, usually with copious nectar at anthesis; ovule 1, basally attached
    Fruits
    Fruit varying from very small to large, with stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, often brightly coloured; mesocarp fibrous or fleshy; endocarp hard, somewhat woody, with longitudinal fibres
    Seeds
    Seed with ruminate endosperm and basal embryo
    Germination
    Germination adjacent-ligular; seedling leaf bifid.
    [PW]
    General Description
    Very small to moderate, solitary or clustered, acaulescent to erect, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem slender to moderate, occasionally stilt-rooted, internodes very short to elongate, leaf scars often conspicuous. Leaves undivided and pinnately ribbed, with or without an apical notch, or pinnate; sheaths forming a well-defined crownshaft with leaves neatly abscising, or rarely crownshaft not well developed when leaves marcescent or the sheaths partly open; petiole present or absent, adaxially channelled or rounded, abaxially rounded, glabrous or variously indumentose; leaflets regularly or irregularly arranged, 1–several fold, acute, acuminate or lobed, the lobes corresponding to the folds, the apical pair almost always lobed, held in one plane, very rarely (Areca insignis) with a basal auricle reflexed across the rachis, blade variously scaly or hairy, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences erect or pendulous, mostly infrafoliar, rarely interfoliar in acaulescent species with marcescent leaves, in one species sometimes bursting through marcescent leaf sheaths (A. jugahpunya), branched to 3 orders basally, fewer orders distally, very rarely spicate, protandrous (or very rarely recorded as protogynous); peduncle very short to long; prophyll thin, membranous, enclosing the inflorescence in bud, quickly splitting and falling, other bracts very inconspicuous; rachis shorter or longer than the peduncle; rachillae glabrous or variously indumentose; rachilla bracts minute; triads confined to the proximal part of the main axis, or to the proximal part of each order of branching, or rarely to a subdistal part of the main axis only; rachillae otherwise bearing solitary or paired staminate flowers arranged spirally, distichously, or in 2 approximate rows on one side of the rachilla, the rachilla tips sometimes devoid of flowers. Staminate flowers frequently minute, sessile, or with a stalk formed from the receptacle; calyx with 3 distinct, slightly imbricate, triangular sepals, or cupular with 3 triangular lobes; corolla with 3 triangular, valvate petals, rarely briefly connate at the base, much longer than the sepals; stamens free or briefly epipetalous, 3, 6, 9 or up to 30 or more, filaments short to elongate, anthers linear or sinuous, sometimes very irregular, latrorse or rarely opening by apical pores; pistillode present and conspicuous as a trifid column as long as the stamens, or minute, or often absent. Pollen usually ellipsoidal, symmetric or slightly asymmetric, less frequently oblate triangular or oblate spheroidal; aperture a distal sulcus, in some species an extended sulcus, trichotomosulcus, or incomplete, presumed equatorial zonasulcus, rarely brevi or monoporate, or triporate; ectexine tectate or semi-tectate, finely to coarsely perforate, foveolate or finely reticulate, occasionally with very narrow muri, occasionally perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar or slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 25–58 µm; post-meiotic tetrads tetrahedral, rarely tetragonal or rhomboidal [35/48]. Pistillate flowers sessile, usually much larger than the staminate, ± globular; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate; petals similar to the sepals, 3, distinct, sometimes valvate at the very tip, otherwise imbricate; staminodes 3–9 or absent; gynoecium unilocular, uniovulate, globose to ovoid, stigmas 3, fleshy, triangular, ± reflexed at anthesis, ovule anatropous or campylotropous, basally attached. Rachilla distal to pistillate flowers drying after anthesis, portions bearing fruit sometimes becoming brightly coloured. Fruit globose, ovoid, or spindle-shaped, often brightly coloured, rarely dull brown or green, stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, shiny or dull, mesocarp thin to moderately thick, fleshy or fibrous, endocarp composed of robust longitudinal fibres, usually closely appressed to the seed, becoming free at the basal end or not. Seed conforming to the fruit shape or slightly hollowed at the base, with basal hilum and raphe branches anastomosing, endosperm deeply ruminate; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid or rarely entire with a minute apical cleft. Cytology: 2n = 32.
    Biology
    Most species are small to moderate palms of the undergrowth of tropical rain forest. Areca catechu, the betel nut, is very widespread as a crop plant and seems to tolerate open conditions. Some species of Areca have very narrow ecological limits; for example, A. rheophytica is confined to the banks of fast-flowing streams on ultramafic rock in Sabah, Borneo. Areca triandra is a polymorphic species occurring from India to Borneo. Some of the entities within this complex taxon have rather precise habitat requirements.
    Distribution
    About 47 species, distributed from India and south China through Malesia to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
    Morphology
    Leaf, stem, root (Tomlinson 1961), root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b), gynoecium (Uhl and Moore 1971), stegmata (Killmann and Hong 1989), and fruit (Essig and Young 1979).
    Vernacular
    Betel nut palm, pinang, bunga, jambe.
    Diagnostic
    The betel-nut palm and its relatives; acaulescent, or erect, diminutive or robust palms of Southeast Asia to West Pacific, with crownshafts, with entire or lobed leaflet tips and a single large bract in the inflorescence, the pistillate flowers borne only at the rachilla bases and with basal hilum on the seed.
    [PW]
    Use
    Areca catechu is economically important and widely cultivated, sometimes on a plantation scale. The endosperm is chewed with leaves or inflorescences of Piper betle L., lime and other ingredients; it contains the alkaloid arecaine, which acts as a mild narcotic. An estimated 200–400 million people use betel nut in this way, making it the fourth most widly “abused” substance after nicotine, alcohol and caffeine (Gupta and Warnakulasuriya 2002, Norton 1998). The fruit are also used as a source of tannin in dyeing, medicinally, and rarely, as toothbrushes. The apex is edible and the flowers often used as ceremonial decoration. The leaf sheath may be utilised in making containers, and other species may serve as substitutes in betel-chewing. Several species are cultivated as ornamentals.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Jawa, Laos, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam

    Introduced into:

    Caroline Is., China South-Central, China Southeast, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Fiji, Hainan, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Maldives, Marianas, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz Is., Society Is., Taiwan, Trinidad-Tobago, Vanuatu

    Areca L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Feb 16, 2008 Heatubun, C. [CH796], Indonesia K000526325
    Feb 16, 2008 Heatubun, C. [CH798], Indonesia K000526326
    Feb 16, 2008 Heatubun, C. [CH799], Indonesia K000526327
    Oct 1, 2007 Klappa, S. [92], Papua New Guinea K000525993
    Jul 28, 2006 Heatubun, C. [CH747], Indonesia K000526322
    Jan 1, 2006 Averyanov, L. [VH4767], Vietnam K000462489
    Feb 28, 2005 Heatubun, C.D. [570], New Guinea 74399.000
    Nov 20, 2000 Baker, W.J. [1098], Papua New Guinea 70013.000
    Nov 20, 2000 Baker, W.J. [1098], Papua New Guinea K000114177
    Feb 21, 2000 Baker, W.J. [1046], Indonesia 70037.000
    Feb 21, 2000 Baker, W.J. [1046], Indonesia K000112769
    Feb 19, 2000 Barrow, S. [120], Indonesia 64200.000
    Feb 19, 2000 Barrow, S. [120], Indonesia K000112754
    Jun 25, 1997 Heatubun, C. [93], Indonesia K000525014
    Jun 25, 1997 Maturbongs, R.A. [503], Indonesia K000525012
    Sep 20, 1996 Morren [3049], Papua New Guinea K000525019
    Feb 5, 1996 Baker, W.J. [631], Papua New Guinea K000525004
    Feb 2, 1996 Baker, W.J. [617], Papua New Guinea K000525016
    Feb 2, 1996 Baker, W.J. [612], Papua New Guinea K000525017
    Jan 20, 1996 Baker, W.J. [591], Papua New Guinea K000525021
    Feb 2, 1995 Baker, W.J. [613], Papua New Guinea K000525018
    Nov 14, 1972 Waterhouse, J.H.L. [278], Solomon Is. K000030162
    Nov 14, 1972 Waterhouse, J.H.L. [278], Solomon Is. K000208881
    Nov 14, 1972 Waterhouse, J.H.L. [278], Solomon Is. K000208887
    Thailand 29047.895
    Waterhouse, J.H.L. [185], Solomon Is. K000030156
    Waterhouse, J.H.L. [185], Solomon Is. K000208883
    Waterhouse, J.H.L. [185], Solomon Is. K000208884
    Kajewski, S.F. [553], Vanuatu K000030157
    Kajewski, S.F. [553], Vanuatu K000208885
    Whitmore, T. [BSIP4273], Solomon Is. K000030158
    Whitmore, T. [BSIP4273], Solomon Is. K000208886
    Heatubun, C. [154], Indonesia K000525013
    Heatubun, C. [270], Indonesia K000113714
    Heatubun, C. [283], Indonesia K000113712
    Sumawong, W., Thailand 29047.966
    Sumawong, W., Thailand 62909.000
    Clemens [11351], Papua New Guinea K000113727
    Dransfield, J. [JD7665], Indonesia K000525005
    Baker, W.J. [631], Papua New Guinea 61786.000
    Baker, W.J. [591], Papua New Guinea 63876.000
    Giulianetti, A. [s.n.], Papua New Guinea K000113823
    Floyd, A. [NGF6422], Papua New Guinea K000113785
    Gideon, O.G. [s.n.], Papua New Guinea K000525020
    Barfod, A. [375], Papua New Guinea K000525003
    Barfod, A. [457], Papua New Guinea K000114336
    Barfod, A. [460], Papua New Guinea K000114311
    Barfod, A. [470], Papua New Guinea K000114325
    Barfod, A. [471], Papua New Guinea K000114337
    Barfod, A. [480], Papua New Guinea K000114323
    Barfod, A. [488], Papua New Guinea K000114322
    Maturbongs, R.A. [605], Indonesia K000113728
    Maturbongs, R.A. [589], Indonesia K000113713
    Maturbongs, R.A. [590], Indonesia K000113711
    Maturbongs, R.A. [RAM678], Indonesia K000114397
    Maturbongs, R.A. [727], Indonesia K000030736
    Maturbongs, R.A. [s.n.], New Guinea K000462457
    Guppy [236], Solomon Is. K000030159
    Guppy [96], Solomon Is. K000030160
    Mohizah, Y. [73074], Malaysia K000030631
    Yen, D.E. [BSIP15547], Solomon Is. K000208882
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 8601] K001125941

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 1189 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.

    Literature

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    • J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Furtado in F.R. 33: 217–239 (1933)
    • V.E. 2: 233 (1908)
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 496 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 1189 (1753)

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
    Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0