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Distribution & Habitat:
Lowland swampy areas and flood plains of Vanuatu, New Hebrides, and Western Samoa.
A medium-large solitary palm to about 10m tall, with spiny leaf bases, and slightly recurved leaves. The plant reaches maturity very quickly (usually around 8 years old), and is monocarpic, which means that it only flowers once, and then dies.
The leaves are used as roof thatch in Vanuatu, and they are now also trying to develop an industry of nut carving. The nuts are extremely hard and the carvers produce things like animal figures, jewelry and napkin rings which are then exported.
Likes sunny, hot position, with lots of water. Dislikes cold.
John Strazicich (Figure 1&2)