SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hyophorbe verschaffeltii
COMMON NAME(S): Spindle palm
FAMILY: ARECACEAE (PALMAE) - Palm family
ORIGIN: Mascarene Islands, 2-3 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Trunk swollen near middle); leaf sheaths tubular and forming crownshaft
LEAVES: Alternate, feather-like, stiff, arching, 8-10' long, leaflets lance-shaped
FLOWERS: Inconspicuous, separate male and female flowers on densely- branched stems borne below the crownshaft
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
FRUITS: About 1" long, round, red or black, fleshy, with a single seed
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: The fruit pulp of the genus has a very high concentration of calcium oxalate which causes a generalized skin irritation in many people.