Arenga westerhoutii

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Arenga (ah-REN-gah)
westerhoutii (wes-ter-hoot'-ee)
Bukit Lagong, Selangor, Malaysia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Arenga (ah-REN-gah)
westerhoutii (wes-ter-hoot'-ee)
Saguerus westerhoutii
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Height: Up to 12m (40ft)
Survivability index
Common names
Westerhout's Sugar Palm, Malaysia: langkap, anowe kutare, gtor. Thailand: langkap, rangkap, rangkai.

Habitat and distribution

Arenga westerhoutii is found in Assam, Cambodia, East Himalaya, Laos,
Arenga westerhoutiiz.jpg
Malaya, Myanmar, and Thailand. In Laos mak tao is mainly found along streams in mountainous, limestone rocky areas, or in humid and cool evergreen forests everywhere in the country. Ranges from Burma and south China to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Rainforests.


A. westerhoutii is smaller than other Arenga species. In Laos three types are known: tao kai, with stems of up to 4 m with small reddish fruits, which cause itching when eaten; tao kouay, the most common, with three to seven inflorescences per tree and a large round (undulating, with a dent at the top) white fruit with small seeds; and tao ngou similar to tao kouay, with one to three inflorescences per tree. This last produces a lot of fruit, which is long, square, and has a flat surface, giving the highest yield. Growth Habit: Solitary, Trunk Type: No Crownshaft, Brown Fibrous, Leaf Type: Pinnate, Leaf Size: Up to 8 m (26 ft) Leaf Color: Dark Green, Silver Underside, Petiole: Unarmed. Editing by edric.


Light: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Soil: Consistently Moist, Fast Draining, Min. Temp: 2°C (36°F) Tolerances: High Humidity, Germination: 1-3 Months,30°C (86°F).

Comments and Curiosities

Harvesting techniques should avoid stem damage. Often, less is harvested than is possible. Shoot collection kills the plant, and as the regeneration rate is low, this should be regulated to ensure enough mature trees are left. Natural stands along streams are being threatened by agricultural clearance. Protected areas could be promoted around streams, while individual tree ownership rights might help to protect stands.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos, edric.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos, edric.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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