Corypha umbraculifera

Corypha umbraculifera or talipot palm has the largest known inflorescence in the world.

The largest known single flower belongs to Rafflesia arnoldii and the largest known unbranched inflorescence belongs to Amorphophallus titanum.

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


Common name:

Talipot palm


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



Sowing instructions:

  • 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