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,shelter, clothing

Phoenix - date plam
Cocos - coconut
Elaeis - oil plam
Areca - betel nuts

Medicinal uses - various products of palmetto used to treat prostate enlargement, irritated mucous membranes and respiratory problems.

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