One of the most commercially grown plants, the palm, is renowned for its several uses and benefits. Let’s have a look at Palm Tree Types in India!
What is Palm Tree?
Palm trees are perennials that can grow in the form of stemless shrubs or trees. The small ones are referred to as ‘Palms’ whereas the trees are generally called palm trees. Most of them are found in tropical and subtropical climates and can be easily identified due to their fronds (large evergreen leaves) arranged on the top of a straight stem that does not have any branches. Let’s have a look at some of the popular Palm Tree Types in India!
Botanical Name: Arecaceae
Palm Trees in India
The palm trees found their way to India from Africa. Since then, the tree has been an important part of Indian culture, especially in the southern Indian states. There are around 7-8 crore palm trees in India at present. It is the state tree of Tamil Nadu, which accounts for half of the total trees in the country! Palm tree cultivation is an integral part of Indian agriculture. It is the most famous palm tree types in India.
Different Types of Palm Trees in India
1. Coconut Tree
Botanical Name: Coconut nucifera
The only living species of cocos family, coconut, is a type of palm. India happens to be the third-largest producer of coconut, and major production of it takes place in Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. The tree holds much importance due to the plethora of uses that it has in medicine, food, and other industries as well.
2. Date Palm
Botanical Name: Phoenix dactylifera
The date palm tree is another flowering palm variety, native to India. The sap of these palms is used in making the jaggery or gud in the state of West Bengal. These trees have a robust trunk that can grow up to a height of 35-40 feet.
3. Betel Palm / Areca Palm
Botanical Name: Areca catechu
One of the most popularly grown varieties of palm, Areca Palm is not native to the country but is found in the Andaman Islands. The plant has multiple medicinal benefits, as the leafy extracts of it contain Omega -6, Palmitic acid, stearic acid, and myristic acid, which are used in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries. It is one of the most popular palm tree types in India.
4. Sago Palm
Botanical Name: Cycas revoluta
An endangered variety of palm, sago palm is native to the wilds of the southern part of India. Also known as queen sago, you can also grow them as an indoor plant. It has poisonous seeds. You can, however, remove the poison from it by soaking them in water. Making the seeds completely harmless will require at least 6-7 soakings.
5. Royal Palm
Botanical Name: Roystonea regia
Another Palm tree variety that is a non-native, but is widely cultivated in India and known by the name– “Vakka.” Useful in landscaping, it is now a famous ornamental tree in India. The tree also holds some importance in traditional medicines, and apart from that, almost all parts of the tree are useful, for example, leaves, roots, fibers, and seeds.
6. Oil Palm
Botanical Name: Elaeis guineensis
This tree is famous for its oil. It can produce way more oil as you can extract it from both pulp and kernel. India is the largest consumer of palm oil, and the major production comes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and some parts of Andaman.
7. Foxtail Palm
Botanical Name: Wodyetia bifurcata
The only species of wodyetia genus is Foxtail palm. The tree has a smooth trunk and is famous as ‘foxtail’ because of the fluffy leaves, which look exactly like a tail of a fox. They are not native to India, but due to similar climatic requirements, they can easily be naturalized in the country.
8. Fishtail Palm
Botanical Name: Caryota
Also famous as wine palm or jaggery palm, it is a flowering tree in the palm family. They are famous as ‘fishtail’ because their leaves have a shape similar to that of a tail of the fish. They are native to the Indian subcontinent and are one of the most common varieties of the Caryota genus. The flowers of this variety are useful in making a type of jaggery and wine.
9. Aren Palm
Botanical Name: Arenga pinnata
Native to the tropical parts of Asia, they are medium-size palms, having evergreen leaves, which are a distinguishable feature. The plants are commercially important, as the sap from them is used to make ‘gud’ or jaggery in India. They are also famous as black sugar palms.
10. Doum Palm
Botanical Name: Hyphaene thebaica
Doum palm grows in places where there is a lot of groundwater. Their special feature is that unlike other palm plants, Doum palms have branches. Nagao beach in Diu is the only place in India where you can find these unique palms.
11. Talipot Palm
Botanical Name: Corypha umbraculifera
Talipot is a flowering species of palm, which is native to the east and south of India. Using its leaves, people make umbrellas. They are also popular for thatching. Apart from leaves, the sap of these palms is also useful in the making of palm wine.
12. Toddy Palm
Botanical Name: Borassus flabellifer
Toddy is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a hardy and fast-growing tree that can grow up to 90-100 feet tall. Almost all of its parts are useful in one thing or the other. The leaves have uses in making baskets, mats, hats, fans, umbrellas. A famous drink ‘Tadi’ is also made out of the sap of these palm trees.