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Pinang Kera Paya
This palm is very similar in general appearance to Pinang kera (Iguanura macrostachya) and is also uncommon and not well known. The leaves form quite an attractive crown and could be introduced as an ornamental. It makes an excellent potted specimen.
Pinang kera paya occurs in the rainforests of Sumatra and Kalimantan below 800m altitude. It prefers slightly open areas within the protection of large trees.
This pinang does not belong to the same genus as pinang kera. Botanically it is known as Pinanga patula within the genus of Pinanga. Thin stems to 4m, with new stems emerging from a subterranean stolon which gives the appearance of a clumping habit. The few leaflets are wide, crownshaft well develped. The inflorescence is branched. Flowers pink flower stalk red. Fruit green turning to bright red when ripe.
As yet, it is unknown in cultivation with more study needed to ascertain its requirements. Propagation can be either from the division of the subterranean parts or by seed which can be very slow.
Reproduced from Palms & Cycads No. 16, July-Sept 1987.