Pinang monkey swamp


October 23, 2021

Pinang kera paya (Pinanga patula) is a plant of a type of betel nut that belongs to the genus Pinanga. In Indonesia, it is known by names such as bĕbiong, urai pulau, pinang bancang (Palemb.), Pinang kĕlandau (Kalimantan), bĕrtam (Kubu). Although its name is similar, the swamp ape nut is not related to the ape nut (Iguanura macrostachya Becc.).


Pinang swamp monkeys are small and only 4 meters high. Stem diameter 1–3 cm, segment length 10 cm, distance between segments 10 cm, stem brownish gray. The base of the betel nut stem of the swamp monkey is barren, but creeps on the surface of the soil. These selantar buds can grow into new plants. Therefore, these plants are clustered. Like most palms, the leaves are like fins. Leaf petals like a sheath. The length of the frond head reaches 30 cm, swollen at the bottom, greenish-yellow in color, the number of leaves located at the base of the fruit. The leaves are arranged regularly, and the base to approach the tip consists of 1-2 leaf bones, at the ends in pairs. The inflorescence is tassel-shaped, the flower color is pink, the base of the bunch is red. When young, the fruit is green and when old it is red.

Distribution & living space

Pinang swamp monkeys are found in Sumatra and Kalimantan, in lowland meranti forests up to an altitude of 800 mdpl. According to Heyne, in South Sumatra it can be found in swamps below 150 meters above sea level. In the Gunung Lumut Protected Forest, Central Kalimantan, betel nut monkeys are found at an altitude of about 200 mdpl. However, the IUCN Red List considers this species endemic in Sumatra


In Heyne's time — especially the Dutch East Indies, these slender betel nut stalks — after being smoked — were turned into spearheads. Also, with the base of the root excavated, this stem is then processed into a stick. However, this plant still loses the quality of its stem when compared to betel nut (Pinanga malaiana Scheff.). As an ornamental plant, this type is not well known. However, the shape of the head and the beautiful body allows this plant to be developed as an ornamental plant and if desired, this plant can be planted in pots.


External links

(English) PACSOA: Pinanga patula (English) ASEAN Trop. Plant: Pinanga patula (+ photos)

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