Corypha umbraculifera L.

Corypha umbraculifera L. (PALMAE)
Common names
Kannada: Sritale.
Tulu: Pane, Panoli.
Malayalam: Kodapana.

Description: Unarmed palms, 10-25 m tall, 0.5-1 m diam., annulate, dying after once flowering and ripening their seed, at the age of between 20-40 years. leaves 2-5 m in diam., plicate, cleft the middle into 80-100 linear-lanceolate acute or 2-fid  lobes; petioles 1-3 m long, stout; the margins armed with short, compressed, dark-colored spines. Spadix pyramidal, 3-6 m long; spathes pierced by the primary branches of the spadix, forming pendulous spikes. Flowers small, bisexual. Calyx broadly 3-lobed. Petals 3. Stamens 6; filaments subulate; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary 3-loculed; style short; stigma minute. Fruit a drupe, globose, ca 4 cm in diam. Seed usually solitary, globose, hard, smooth, polished.

Flowering &  Fruiting: Once in its life time (Between 20-40 years).

Distribution: India: Western Peninsula and Andamans. Sri Lanka.

Uses:  The pith is used for flour. The base of the trunk is used for making drums. A fibre similar to Kittul (Caryota  urens) fibre can be prepared from the fibro-vascular strands. Often planted in gardens. The leaves are used for thatching, baskets, mats, fans, umbrellas etc. and sacred. Buddhists books written on strips with metal styles. Processed strips of leaves are used for making ornamental braids and straw and leghorn hats. The seeds have the hardness of ivory and are used for making beads, buttons and other ornamental articles. They can also be colored to stimulate coral and used in ornamental ware. The young fruit powdered is used for stupefying fish.