Floating around for ages!

Nypa fruticans
Originally uploaded by lekowala.

Fruit of Nypa fruticans from the Subfamily Nypoideae, Family Palmae or locally known as the “attap chee”. The large fronds are used to tatch roofs of the attap huts. Many other uses including the commercial preparation of cigarette papers from young leaves (rokok nipah) and the preparation of brown sugar and the making of toddy (Whitmore, 1998).

Vehicles from the British North Borneo at Sandakan were once run on power alcohol made from Nipah sugar (Whitmore, 1998). “The large stands of Nypa remain a greatly underexploited resource for fuel alcohol” (Uhl and Dransfield, 1987)

This palm has an incredibly long fossil record and is considered one of the first palms. Fossils have been found in the Eocene and Miocene of Europe (Muller 1979 in Uhl and Dransfield, 1987).


Muller, J., 1979. Reflections on fossil palm pollen. IV International Palynological Conference Lucknow (1976-77) 1:568-578.

Uhl, N.W., Dransfield, J., 1987. Genera Palmarum: a classification of palms based on the work of H.E. Moore, Jr. International Palm Society and L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Lawrence, KS.

Whitmore T.C., 1998. Palms of Malaya. 2nd Edition, White Lotus Co. Ltd., Thailand.


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