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Tamil Nadu ST

Tamil Nadu – Palm Tree

Palm tree

Common Name: Palmyra Palm

Local Name: Panai Maram, Nonkuppanai (Tamil), Tal Gachh (Bengali), Tad (Gujrati), Tarkajhar (Hindi)

Scientific Name: Borassus flabellifer L.

Description: A robust tree reaching up to 30 m in height, straight, grey/black-colored trunk with a crown of leaves that are fan-shaped and 3 m long with teeth on petiole margins. All Borassus species have male and female flowers on separate plants. After pollination, they develop into fleshy fruits containing 1- 3 seeds.

Economic Importance: Palmyra trees are an integral part of Tamil life and the various uses of this tree have been described in the famous Tamil poem (“Tala Vilasam”). The leathery leaves have been used to write scripts and to make mats, brooms, fans, fences, roofing material, etc. Palmyra tree leaves also act as faunal shelters and as a natural barrier (windbreaks) against climatic forces. The palm tree yields the country liquor – “toddy.” The sweet sap or ‘neera’ collected from the inflorescence is a major source of sweetening agents, replacing cane sugar in Tamil Nadu’s Palmyra growing tracts.

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