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Department of Botany

Since 1980

Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb.



   Botanical NamePhoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb.
   SynonymsElate sylvestris. L.; Elate versicolor Salisb .
   Common NameEnglish : Silver date palm / Tamil : Inthupaanai
   DistributionGlobal : Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangaladesh
Indian: Throughout India except in Jammu and Kashmir
   DescriptionTall tree up to 15m height with terminal crown of leaves, bark brown colour, Trunk with persistent leave base. Leaves compound, long about 3m, greyish green, rough, spines at the base, pinnules numerous, linear ending with sharp point. Inflorescence spadix. Flowers small, trimerous, fragrant, unisexual, actinomorphic, male flowers white, stamens 6, anther subsessile, linear and female flower greenish, scattered, cup shaped calyx, petals orbicular, gynoecium globose. Fruit berries, ellipsoid to oblong present in spadix, turns orange yellow when ripening. Single seeded with single grove and rounded end.
   Flowering Fruiting periodJanuary – March
   UsesCultivated for its edible fruits and planted as ornamental in gardens. Sometimes planted as fencing, wind breaker and as nectar source.
   Medicinal UsesThe sap of the plant used as laxative. Tender parts used for the treatment of gonorrhoea. Root used to treat tooth ache, nervous debility and helminthiasis
   Tamil NameInthupaanai