Herbs, shrubs, vines, or trees
Leaves alternate, sometimes all basal or in a terminal crown
Flowers crowded and usually small, often borne in a spadix
Fruit commonly a berry or a fleshy or dry drupe
4 orders, 5 families, 5600 species
Most of species are in the Arecaceae
Arecidae is morphologically and ecologically diverse

ARECACEAE - Palm Family

Trees or shrubs, trees unbranched

Leaves palmate, pinnate, or simple, petiole sheathing at base, often in a terminal cluster

Flowers uni- or bisexual, actinomorphic, infl. large and paniculate, plants with unisexual flowers monoecious or dioecious

200 genera, 3000 species in tropics and subtropics,a few in warm temperate areas

Common genera:
Sabal - palmetto, cabbage palm
Cocos - coconuts
Phoenix - date palm

Economic uses: food,s helter, clothing
Phoenix - date plam
Cocos - coconut
Elaeis - oil plam
Areca - betel nuts

Diagnostic characteristics - leaves large, fan-shaped or pinnately compound, infl. flarge and paniculate, flowers small