Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Areca catechu L.

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Areca catechu L. Family


Areca catechu L. English Name

Betal Nut Palm

Areca catechu L. Local Name


Areca catechu L.

Areca catechu L. Description

This Plant is a palm tree which is small to medium in size. It grows straight up to the height of about 18 to 22 m. The diameter of the trunk is about 8 to 15 cm. The leaves of the tree are pinnate and are 1 to 3 cm long. The leaves are 1.5 to 2 m long and have several crowned leaflets. The branched flower emerges from stem and is about 0.5 to 1.5 m long. The flowers are small and arranged in clusters of two staminate flowers. The fruit is orange to red in colour and is about 4 to 6 cm long and 3 to 5 cm broad. Fruit has a single spherical seed.

Areca catechu L.

Areca catechu L. Distribution

This plant grows throughout the tropical regions of Asia (including Pakistan where it is cultivated as an ornamental plant) and east Africa. It is widely in cultivated and naturalized around the world. It prefers to grow in the areas where elevation is 0 to 1000 m, and average annual temperature: 15 to 37 C, and average annual rainfall is about 700 to 5000 mm.

Areca catechu L.

Areca catechu L. Uses

The plant has several uses. The nut is very popular for chewing. This plant is used to make different medicines; it has potential to treat many diseases particularly digestive diseases, parasitic diseases and depression. The dry petioles serve as very good splints for fractures. The wood of the tree is considered to be good building material in the country sides, and it has been commonly used all the way through to the Southeast Asia for different types of construction purposes. In India dry fallen leaves are hot pressed and used as plates and bowls.

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