Pinanga sylvestris

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Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
sylvestris (sihl-VEHS-tris)
Pinanga sylvestris inflorescence.jpg
Thailand. Photo by Paul Craft
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
sylvestris (sihl-VEHS-tris)
Pinanga cochinchinensis pre-1998
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Chocolate Cane Palm

Habitat and Distribution

China; South-Central, Assam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. "Photo by Olivier Reilhes"
Lowland or montane rain forest, 100-1750 m elevation.


Stems clustered, to 6 m tall, 1.5-3.5 cm in diam., reddish brown. Leaves pinnate; sheaths closed and forming crownshafts, 17-45 cm, green or yellowish with reddish scales; petioles 10-25 cm; rachis 1-1.3 m; pinnae 10-28 per side of rachis, green abaxially, linear, distantly spaced, regularly arranged; middle pinnae 39-60 x 2-5 cm. Inflorescences branched, pendulous, occasionally erect; peduncles 2.5-6 x about 0.7 cm; rachis 0.5-2.5 cm; rachillae 3-8, 9-26 cm, zigzag, triangular in cross section, glabrous; triads distichously arranged, superficial on rachillae; male flowers not seen; female flowers to 3 mm; sepals to 3 mm, rounded at apex, ciliate; petals to 3 mm, ciliate. Fruits red, ellipsoid, 1.4-1.8 x 0.5-0.7 cm. ( Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 9b

Comments and Curiosities

Widespread through Southeast Asia, this palm grows in the undergrowth of cooler rainforests, usually above 1000 m (3300 ft.). It is a clustering species with slender, reddish brown canes to about 5 m (17 ft.) tall, and finely pinnate leaves that unfold in a beautiful pinkish or reddish tone, then turn into a deep green. (

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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