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

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Minute to large, solitary or clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms, almost always with a well-defined crownshaft
Morphology Leaves
Leaves reduplicately pinnate, sometimes flabellate or undivided, often with compound leaflets composed of many folds
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
sex 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
sex 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
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed with ruminate endosperm and basal embryo
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds 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.

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[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.

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)

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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© 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
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