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Family Arecaceae
Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume
Yuan ye pu kui

Scientific names Common names
Corypha rotundifolia Lam. Anahaw (Tag.)
Licuala rotundifolia (Lam.) Blume Bulos (Bik.)
Livistona altissima Zoll. Luyong (Tag.)
Livistona microcarpa Becc. Payoong-payong (Benguet)
Livistona mindorensis Becc. Anahaw palm (Engl.)
Livistona robinsoniana Becc. Fan palm (Engl.)
Livistona rotundifolia (Lam.) Mart. Footstool fan (Engl.)
Livistona rotundifolia var. luzonensis Becc. Java fan palm (Engl.)
Livistona rotundifolia var. microcarpa (Becc.) Becc. Rotund palm (Engl.)
Livistona rotundifolia var. mindorensis (Becc.) Becc. Round-leaf fountain palm (Engl.)
Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume Table fan (Engl.)
Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Yuan ye pu kui, Gao bei pu kui.
FRENCH: Palmieer évantail de Java.
GERMAN: Livistonie, Waldpalme, Serdang-Schirmpalme, Fächer-palme.
ITALIAN: Palma parasole.
MALAYSIAN: Sadeng, Serdang, Serdang daun bulat.
NORWEGIAN: Dronningpalmae.
PORTUGUESE: Palmeira-leque.
SPANISH: Palmere de hoja redonda, Palmera de escabel, Palma de escabel.
THAI: Paam chawa, Paam yawa.

Gen info
- Saribus rotundifolius belongs to the genus Saribus that contains about 28 known species.
- Considered the "unofficial" National Leaf of the Philippines.
- Saribus rotundifolius was first described as Corypha rotundifolia by the French Jean-Baptiste Lamark in 1786. In 1838, it was moved to the genus Saribus by German-Dutch botanist Carl Ludwig Blume, a move not accepted by all. In 2011, DNA research certified it into the genus Saribus.
- Etymology: The genus name Saribus derives from a local name in one of the Maluku languages, sariboe. The specific epithet rotundifolius derives from Latin, meaning "round-leaved".

• Anahaw is a round-leaf fountain palm, medium-sized to large, growing between 18-27 meters high, with a slender solitary trunk about 20-25 centimeters in diameter, bearing prominent leaf scars, and clothed with beautiful grayish woven fibers in the upper part below the crown. Spiny stalks support rounded, dark, glossy green leaf blades, divided into many linear, rigid, notched lobes, held on 2-meter long shiny petioles, the leaves becoming more divided as they get older. Panicles of cream flowers in the summer are followed by spherical, bright orange-red to red drupes, 1.5-2 centimeters across, that ripen to black.

Saribus rotundifolius is a hermaphrodite fan palm, evergreen, erect, and growing with a single trunk to a height ranging from 15 to 25 meters, rarely up to 45 meters tall, and thickness of 15 to 25 cm diameter at breast height. Trunk is rather massive and tapering, smooth and straight with a shallow rings of leaf scars, growing to 60 feet (18 m) tall, but may rarely reach 90 feet (27 m) tall. Young trees have a green crown. Seldom seen is a slight skirt of drooping, dead leaves. Sheaths are chestnut brown in color. Leaves are palmately-lobed, spirally arranged around the trunk. Petioles are long. Entire leaf is some 1.2 meters in length. Leaf blade is entire in its center, and almost round in outline, regularly divided to about half of the length and 1.2 meters in diameter. Leaf segments are forked, but not deeply, at their ends, and having one main nerve. Flowers are borne on an inflorescence with a long peduncle, about 0.9 to 1.2 meters long. Flowers are three-petalled, occurring in bunches. Fruit is a fleshy drupe, about 2cm in diameter, quite round, brick red as it ripens, ultimately becoming black when ripe. (6)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Borneo, Maluku, New Guinea, Sulawesi.
- Popular landscaping plant.
- Cultivated as an ornamental all over the world in tropical and subtropical countries.

- Phytochemical screening yielded saponins +++, phlobatannins +, tannins ++, anthraquinones +. cardiac glycosides ++, terpenes +++, alkaloids +, flavonoids +, deoxysugars +, phenols + (+++high, ++moderate, + trace). (1)

- Studies have suggest antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Parts used


- The bud is highly esteemed as a vegetable.
- The boiled ubod can be eaten plain, or prepared with kalamansi and bagoong.
- Nuts are eaten young and green.
- In Benguet, leaves are crushed and applied on fresh wounds. (4)
- Decoction of leaves used to treat diarrhea. (4)
Crafts and construction: In Quezon, used as fishpond posts and housing floor. Trunk used for making walking sticks and umbrella handles. Leaves used as making hand-held fans and hats. Leaves are used for thatching and food packaging.
- Flowers pollinated by bees; fruits attract frugivorous birds.
- An excellent landscaping tree.
- Leaves used as tent by several bat species.

Antioxidant / Antimicrobial:
Study evaluated three palm nuts (Livistonia chinensis, Saribus rotundifolius, and Areca catechu) for phytochemical content and antioxidant activity. The mature fruits were peeled and the seeds were sun-dried after which the endocarps were removed to obtain the kernels. In the DPPH radical assay, a 2.0 mg/ml dose of S. rotundifolius exhibited 90.40% inhibition compared to standard ascorbic acid at 92.32%. On antioxidant evaluation by iron chelating ability, S. rotundifolium showed 65.0% inhibition compared to ascorbic acid with 71.3%. All the extracts exhibited significant concentration dependent antimicrobial activity. S. rotundifolius leaf extract inhibited the growth of E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and S. typhi. (see constituents above) (1)
• Anahaw as Fiber Source for NFRP Composites: Study reports on the use of anahaw as a fiber source for reinforced polymer composites compared to traditional fiber reinforced plastics. The measured stiffness and modulus of the treated anahaw fiber-reinforced composite was found comparable to those of commercially available particle boards and fiber boards. (5)

- Cultivated.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updatec December 2023
January 2019

IMAGE SOURCE: / Illustration: Saribus rotundifolius as synonym Livistonia altissima / Louis van Houtte / Botanicus / Public Domain / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph: File: Saribus rotundifolius fruit / 31 May 2017 / Malcolm Manners / Lakeland, FL, USA / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Leaves: File: Livistona rotundifolius / © Paresh Chun / Mahim, Mumbai City, Maharashtra, India / 10.05.2015 / click on image to go to source page / Butterflies of India
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Spines on margins of petiole of young plant of Saribus rotundifolius / Dariusz Kowalczyk / CC BY-SA 4.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Saribuw rotundifolius palm in forest understory in Tangkoko Nature Reserve, Sulawesi / T R Shankar Raman /
CC BY-SA 3.0 / click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Phytoconstituents, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Livistona chinensis (Jacquin), Saribus rotundifolius (Lam.) Blume and Areca catechu Linnaeus Nuts / Emmanuel E. Essien, Bassey S. Antia, Esangubong I. Etuk / Pharmaceutical and Biosciences Journal / DOI: 10.20510/ukjpb/5/i1/147026
Saribus rotundifolius / Synonyms / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Sorting Livingstonia names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.
Ethnomedicinal Plants in Bayabas, Sablan, Benguet Province, Luzon, Philippines
/ Teodora D Balangcod, Kryssa D Balangcod / Electronic Journal of Biology, 2015; 11(3): pp 63-73
Mechanical Properties of NFRP Composites using Anahaw (Saribus rotundifolius) Fibers Treated with Sodium Alginate /
Terence Tumovla, J K R Vito, J C R Ragasa, Renz Marion Clamor de la Cruz / 2016 International Conference on Material and Chemical Engineering (MACE 2016)
Saribus rotundifolius / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you know of a plant to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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