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.
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) for nga-nga chewing.
A survey of leaf material of 545 palms of 108 genera and 155 species
showed cyanogenesis to be rare in the family.