Areca caliso (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Areca caliso Becc.

Family: Palmae

Vernacular names

  • Philippines: kaliso (Bagobo), sakolon (Manobo).


The Philippines (Mindanao to south-eastern Luzon).


The Manobo people of the Philippines use the seeds as a substitute for those of areca palm ( Areca catechu L.), the Tasaday people use it as their main source for betel chewing. The juice obtained from the inflorescences yields a beverage of inferior quality.


A fairly small, pleonanthic, monoecious palm of 6 m or more tall; stem up to 15 cm in diameter. Leaves about 3 m long; sheaths forming a crownshaft; blade pinnate with linear-lanceolate leaflets, apex falcate, median leaflets 90-95 cm × 6-7 cm. Inflorescence appearing on the trunk below the crown leaves, simply branched (branches spike-like) and adpressed to the main axis; spikes few, 15-20 cm long, slightly unilateral, with (4-)8-14 female flowers in the lower third to half, with many paired male flowers above; male flower sessile, 5-6 mm long, calyx with 3 small, free sepals, corolla with 3 valvate petals, stamens 6; female flower sessile, globose, 8-9 mm in diameter, calyx about as long as the corolla, ovary 1-locular with a single ovary and 3 sessile stigmas. Infructescence about 15 cm long; fruit a drupe, ellipsoid to elongated ovoid, 3-3.5 cm × 2-2.2 cm. Seed with ruminate endosperm. A. caliso is found in dense, humid rain forest on mountain slopes at 350-1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

9, 10, 14, 27, 33, 46.


M.S.M. Sosef