SCIENTIFIC NAME: Arenga
COMMON NAME(S): Sugar palms
FAMILY: ARECACEAE (PALMAE) - Palm family
ORIGIN: Tropical and subtropical Asia, 17 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Stems with black fibers; fibers spine-like in some species
LEAVES: Alternate, large, feather-like, the leaflets wedge- or lance-shaped with ragged tips
FLOWERS: Small, white or yellow, separate male and female borne in number on a branched-flower stem
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
FRUITS: Round, bright or dull red
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: All sugar palms have highly irritating fruit. A. engleri Becc. is the most widely grown and is hardy to New Orleans, Louisiana and into Georgia. A. pinnata Merrill is sometimes grown in South Florida. In Asia, the sap of this species is collected for its sugar content.