Nenga macrocarpa Scort. ex Becc., Malesia 3: 180 (1889)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Malaya present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Thailand present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
S. Thailand and Malay Peninsula. (Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga)A


  • This species is apparently a strictly solitary palm, although it has sometimes been erroneously reported as occurring in clumps. Nenga macrocarpa is easily distinguished by its staminate flowers with equal or subequal perianth parts, and its large ellipsoid fruits which are prominently beaked and tipped by a distinct 3-lobed stigma. (Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga)A

Biology And Ecology

  • In dense humid forest; ca. 150-1,300 m alt., more widespread in the Malay Peninsula where it is common at higher altitudes. (Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga)A


  • Solitary, robust palm. Stem ca. 2-6 m long, 4-6 cm diam.; internodes to ca. 15 cm long, smooth, green to greenish-brown. Crownshaft elongate, cylindrical or slightly angular, to ca. 60 cm long, often swollen. Leaves to 7 in crown; leaf sheath ca. 2045 cm long, pale green with dull purplishbrown specks; petiole ca. 10-55 X 1.5 cm. Leaflets to 30 on each side of the rachis, drying brown; basal leaflets narrowly linear-acuminate, 1 costate, ca. 3040 X 0.7-1.3 cm; middle leaflets 2-3 (5) costate, ca. 30-65 X 1-3 (5) cm, longacuminate; terminal leaflet pair 2-4 (6) costate, ca. 25-40 X 1-3 (4) cm, longacuminate or slightly toothed at tips, the pair sometimes joined to 9 cm at the base along the rachis. Inflorescence infrafoliar, subpendulous to pendulous; prophyll ensiform or lanceolate, ca. 20-30 X (3.5) 45 cm, slightly purplish, drying brown, caducous; peduncle ca. (1.5) 2-3 (3.5) X 1-1.8 cm, flattened, glabrous; peduncular bract narrowly triangular, to ca. 3.5 cm long, 8 mm wide at the base, membranous; rachillae 3-4, rarely to 5, ca. 2545 cm long, to 8 mm thick, glabrous, each subtended by a membranous, triangular bract to 5 X 5 mm. Staminate flower triangular, asymmetric, flexuous; sepals equal or subequal, subulate, acutely and dorsally carinate, flexuous, ca. 6-13 mm long; petals elliptic to elliptic-Ianceolate, acuminate, equal or subequal to the sepals; filaments ca. 2 mm long; anthers erect, linear, ca. 3-4 mm long, sagittate at base; pistillode of 2-3 tubercles. Pistillate flower shorter than the staminate flower; sepals ca. 4-6 X 5-6 mm, petals as the sepals, often smaller, ca. 4 X 3-4 mm; ovary ovoid to subglobose, to 3 X 2 mm; stigma distinctly 3-lobed; staminodes of 6 minute teeth. Infructescence pendulous. Fruit ripening purplish-black, ellipsoid, ca. 3-4 (4.5) X 1.3-1.7 cm, prominently beaked, tipped with a distinct 3-lobed stigma to 3 mm high, the lobes erect; epicarp often drying with longitudinal ridges; the inner apical part usually with a distinct cylindrical or conical, corky solid tissue. Seed broadly ovoid, ca. (1.2) 1.5-1.6 (1.8) X (0.7) 1-1.2 cm, abruptly spinescent at tip; base truncate, shallowly concave. (Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga)A

Materials Examined

  • S. THAILAND: Koh Gah: fr., Kloss 6589 (K); Labu Mine, near Banang Sta., 400 m alt., fl., Whitmore 3123 (K). MALAY PENINSULA: Kedah: Baling, Ayer Terjun Valley, fr., Furtado SFN 33048 (BH, K, L), G. Hang, 760 m alt., fl., Furtado SFN 35024 (BH); Perak: Maxwell's Hill, 1,000-1,300 m alt., fl. and fr., Scortechini 547a (Lectotype FI), fl. and fr., Scortechini 302b (Paratype FI), ca. 975 malt., fr., Burkill & Haniff 12790 (K), Gopeng, fl. and fr., Dr. King's Call. 4775 (BM, K), G. Batu Putih, ca. 1035 m alt., fl. and fr., Wray 930 (K), G. Kerbau, ca. 1,050 malt., fr., Robinson s.n. (K), G. Bintang Hijau, fl., Dransfield 5386 (K), Semangko, fr., Ridley 14715 (BM); Pahang: Bentong, ca. 580 m alt., fl., Furtado SFN 33110 (K); Kemaman: Diu Bendong, ca. 150 m alt., fl., Comer SFN 30065 (K); Selangor: G. Bunga Buah, ca. 850 m alt., fl. and fr., Whitmore FRI 0322 (BH, L), Diu Langat,' Menuang Gasing, fl., Kloss s.n. (K); Negri Sembilan: G. Tampin, fl., Ridley s.n. (K), ca. 400 m alt., fl., Burkill SFN 2849 (K). (Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga)A


    A. Fernando, E.S. 1983: A Revision of the Genus Nenga
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae