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

Scientific names   Common names
Adonidia merrillii (Becc.) Becc. Bunga de Jolo (Tag.)
Actinorhytis calapparia Vidal. Bungang tsina (Tag.)
Normanbya merrillii Becc. Oring-Oring (Tag.)
Veitchia merrillii (Becc.) H. E. Moore Adonidia palm (Engl.) 
  Lugos (Sul.) 
  Adonidia palm (Engl.)
  Manila palm (Engl.)
  Christmas palm (Engl.)
  Veitchia palm (Engl.)
  Veitchia palm (Engl.)
Adonidia merrillii (Becc.) Becc. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ma ni la ye zi.
SPANISH: Bunga de China.

Botany
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.

Distribution
- 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.
- Classified as 'Lower Risk/Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2013)
.

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

Studies
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.

Availability
Wildcrafted.
Cultivated.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated February 2016

Photos ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Edible Palms and Their Uses / Jody Haynes and John McLaughlin
(2)
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

(3)
Adonidia merrillii (Becc.) Becc. / Synonyms / The Plant List

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.

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