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Family Palmae
/ Arecaceae
Buñga de Jolo
Adonidia merrilliii Becc.
Ma ni la ye zi

Scientific names   Common names
Adonidia merrillii Becc. Bunga de Jolo (Tag.)
Normanbya merrillii Becc. Bunga de China (Tag.)
Veitchia merrillii (Becc.) H. E. Moore Oring-Oring (Tag.)
  Adonidia palm (Engl.) 
  Lugos (Sul.) 
  Adonidia palm (Engl.)
  Manila palm (Engl.)
  Christmas palm (Engl.)
  Veitchia palm (Engl.)
  Ma ni la ye zi (Chin.)


Bunga de Jolo is an elegant native Philippine palm growing to 6 to 10 meters high, with a solitary and slender trunk, 15 to 20 centimeters in diameter, marked with rings and leaf scars. Crown is composed of prominently arching leaves. Leaf blade is 2 meters long, bright green and divided into about 100 narrow and partly overlapping segments (leaflets), 50 on each side of the midrib. Flower occur in inconspicuous cluster,s borne below the leaf sheath, much branched and spreading, bearing both male and female flowers which are insect pollinated. Ripe fruit is ovoid, 2 to 3 centimeters long, beaked, pale green becoming bright red when mature. Fruit has a thin epicarp, a dry, yellowish, thin-fleshy mesocarp, and thin, fragile endocarp. Seed is ovoid, truncate basally, pointed apically, with a ruminate endosperm and embryo basally.

Additional info
Similar to the betel nut (Bunga, Areca catechu) but is smaller with a more slender trunk.

- Naturally growing in the Philippines.
- Popularly cultivated in private gardens and public parks.
- A popular landscaping plant.
- Cultivated in tropical places like Hawaii and the southern half of Florida.

· Seeds chewed as a stimulant.
· Fleshy seed is used as a masticatory substitute, albeit inferior, for betel nut (Areca catechu, Bunga) which is preferred for nga-nga chewing.

No medicinal studies found.
Cyanogenesis: A survey of leaf material of 545 palms of 108 genera and 155 species showed cyanogenesis to be rare in the family.


Last Updated April 2014

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Edible Palms and Their Uses / Jody Haynes and John McLaughlin
A survey of cyanogenesis in palms (Arecaceae) / doi:10.1016/S0305-1978(99)00055-1 / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
Volume 28, Issue 3, March 2000, Pages 219-228

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