Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753)
Large, monoecious palms. Stem solitary, more or less smooth. Leaves pinnate, regularly divided; sheath continued into a tubular mat of light brown fibres; pinnae regularly inserted in one plane, straight, lanceolate, with a prominent midrib and inconspicuous secondary veins. Inflorescence interfoliar, once branched, with one prophyll and one peduncular bract. Flowers unisexual, borne in groups of one female and two males, or distally on the branches in pairs of male flowers. Male flowers with 3 free sepals, 3 free petals, 6 stamens, and a 3-lobed pistillode. Female flowers very large, with 3 free, broadly overlapping sepals, 3 similar petals, a low staminodial ring, and 3 united carpels. Fruit very large, green or orange; endocarp bony with three basal germination pores. Seedling leaves simple and bifid.
and diversity: A single domesticated species, planted throughout the tropics, particularly in sandy areas along the coasts.
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