Corypha umbraculifera or talipot palm has the largest known inflorescence in the world.
It is also one of the biggest palms in the world.
Corypha umbraculifera grows up to a height of 25 m and a trunk of 1.3 m in diameter. However, it is a slow grower and forms a trunk only after several years.
The leaves are fan-shaped and up to 5 m in diameter with a petiole up to 4 m long and 130 leaf segments. The dried remains of the petioles remain hanging on the trunk.
The inflorescence is the largest among the plants with 6-8 m long. This palm is monocarpic: it only blooms once in its life, between 30 and 80 years old, with thousands of cream-colored flowers.
The fruits ripen during 1 year. There are thousands of round yellow-green fruits of 3-4 cm, each containing one seed.
After the fruits are ripe the plant dies.
Previously, the leaves were used for writing on with a metal stylus. They are also used for roofing and for the production of umbrellas. The juice is used to produce palm wine.
Leaves: in the past they were used to write on. They are now used as roofing, umbrella or mats.
Juice: production of palm wine.
Fruits: to stun fish.
Marrow: starch, medicinal
Seeds: beads, buttons
Corypha: from the Greek koryphē (top)
Umbraculifera: from the Latin umbraculum (parasol) and the Greek pherein (to bear)
Talipot: Bengali word for palm leaf
India, Sri Lanka
Low mountains, very arid areas
USDA zone 11, at 12 °C the leaves die, at 8 °C the plant dies
Well drained and humus rich soil
Keep the substrate moist but without excess moisture, the plant must be in a well-draining soil
It is a slow grower, use a solid fertilizer once a year in spring
- sow as soon as possible after the harvest: after 6 weeks the ability to germinate significantly reduces. It is therefore important that you know the date of harvest if you find seeds.
- sow in a light mix and moisten
- 25 °C
- germination: 3 days for fresh seeds
- Corypha umbraculifera: Forest & Kim Starr