Arenga tremula

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Arenga (ah-REN-gah)
tremula (treh-MOO-lah)
Photo by Forest & Kim Starr
Scientific Classification
Genus: Arenga (ah-REN-gah)
tremula (treh-MOO-lah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Philippine Dwarf Sugar Palm, Gumayaka.

Habitat and Distribution

Arenga tremula is endemic to the Philippines.
Photo by Forest & Kim Starr.
In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes in Bataan, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon Provinces in Luzon; in Mindoro and Mindanao.


A small clustering palm. Individual stem that produces inflorescence dies, This is a Monocarpic palm, Hight around three meters, Full sun, or light shade. Unlike the kaong, Gumayaka is a small, acaulescent (trunkless palm), with thick and adventitious roots. Stems are not long, but relatively slender and occurring in tufts or clumps. Leaves are up to 5 to 8 meters long, spreading, with petioles 1 to 2 meters long, green, channeled along the base where the edges are fringede with black, ascending bristlelike fibers. The leaflets are linear, varying from 50 to 80 cm long and 1.5 to 4 cm wide, sometimes partially united at the apex, opposite or in alternating pairs, subglaucous underneath, the constricted base with a small lobe, truncate apex finely toothed, the midrib ridged beneath.Peduncles are about 30 cm long and 2.5 cm thick. Male flowers are on separate stalks, about 1 cm long, the petals bulgiing out along valvate sides. Fruiting spikes are pendulous, longer and more numeroous than the male spikes. Fruit is globose, smooth, thin-skinned, scanty pulp, dark red when ripe, and usually two-seeded. Editing by edric.


Similar to the Arenga engleri, Less tolerant to sun, and wind, This is not a cold hardy palm.

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Comments and Curiosities

Folkloric: The bud (ubod), eaten in considerable quantity, is intoxicating followed by long periods of profound sleep. Others: Stems provide a strong and stiff fiber. Leaf stalks split for making baskets. Toxicity. Fruit is poisonoous and contains irritating raphides in the percarp.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

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

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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