Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Oncosperma tigillarium

Commonly known as Nibong, this palm is native to South East Asia and can be found in lowland swampy areas. 

Nibong is a tall palm that grows densely in clusters of up to 50 trunks, reaching a height of about 25m. The trunks are slender, growing up to 15cm in diameter and are ringed with old leaf scars. They are covered with long black spines about 5 to 10cm long and have to be handled carefully.

It is planted for its attractive pinnate and leathery fronds that droop downwards. The leaflets are dark to bright green in colour.

The yellow inflorescence are multi-branched and emerge from below the fronds. They can grow up to 80cm long. The flowers are arranged in groups of 3, whereby there are 2 male flowers to 1 female flower. 

The purple to black fruits are globuse and 1cm in diameter, containing only 1 seed each.

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