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Accepted Scientific Name: Corypha taliera Roxb.
Pl. Coromandel 3: 51 (1820) Roxb.
Origin and Habitat: Bangladesh and India (West Bengal)
Habitat: It is not known with certainty from the wild and probably extinct, but it is found in disturbed places or planted as an ornamental, at low to medium elevations.
Corypha taliera Roxb.
Pl. Coromandel 3: 51 (1820)
- Corypha taliera Roxb.
- Taliera tali Mart.
- Corypha careyana Becc.
- Corypha martiana Becc. ex Hook.f.
- Taliera bengalensis Spreng.
BENGALI (বাংলা): Tariat, Taliera, Tara
HINDI ( हिन्दी): Taliera
MALAY (بهاس ملاي /Bahasa Melayu ): Talipot rendah
MARATHI (मराठी): Tali
SANSKRIT (संस्कृतम्): Sri talam
TELUGU (తెలుగు): Sri talam
Description: Corypha taliera is a giant monoecious palm with a hapaxanthic (monocarpic) mode of growth that die after flowering once and setting seeds. It is similar to, and perhaps not distinct from, Corypha umbraculifera. These two species hold the record of the largest palmate leaves of any plant.
Stem: Solitary, rough, greyish to grey-brown, 9-27 m tall, less than 90 cm in diameter, and as nearly as possible of equal thickness throughout, without no obvious leaf scars.
Leaves: Huge, partially segmented, costapalmate (fan-shaped) dark green slightly brown above and beneath.. Petioles 3 m long stout green armed with black teeth, the bases with 2 conspicuous earlike flaps. Blades circular in outline, up to 6 m long and 6 m wide, divided into about 80-100 stiff leaflets, each 1,5 to 3 m long by 10 cm broad, radiating from the end of the leaf-stalk and covered with strong black spines at their edge.
Inflorescences: The spadix is decompound, and sprout from the apex of the tree at the centre centre of the leaves, forming an immense diffuse ovate panicle of about 6 to 10 metres in height; individual inflorescences emerging from the mouths of the subtending leaf sheaths, not splitting them.
Fruits: Globose, wrinkled, to 4 cm diameter, dark-olive, brown or yellowish.
Blooming season: The flower's bud starts to develop in february.
Remarks: Corypha taliera distinguish from other Corypha species for its no persistent leaf-bases when young. The other Corypha hold huge rhino horn shaped leaf-bases for many years before shedding them.
Bibliography: Major references
1) Andrew Henderson. “Palms of Southern Asia” Princeton University Press, 27/apr/2009. Page 100.
2) William C. Dickison “Integrative Plant Anatomy” Academic Press, 26/apr/2000 Page 475.
3) Edward Balfour "The cyclopædia of India and of eastern and southern Asia: commercial, industrial and scientific, products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures" Volume 1 B. Quaritch, 1871. page 359.
5) Dennis Victor Johnson "Palms: Their Conservation and Sustained Utilization: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan" IUCN, 1996 Page 52
Cultivation and Propagation: This is a huge spectacular palm adapt to a wide range of conditions in the tropics and subtropics, and does well in cultivation. It is slow growing, especially as a seedling, but once established will grow quite fast.
Soil requirements: It is not particular for the soil, provided perfectly draining and fertile even if it prefers the alkaline or neutral ones. However it is widely adaptable, but do better when grown in nutrient-rich soils with regular watering. Avoid those soils that are soggy.
Watering: It may resist to short drought periods, but it profits of regular watering especially in the warmest periods. Don't let sit in water.
Light: It adapts well to full sun or half sun, but seems to prefer some shade until trunking.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements. It is subject to potassium deficiency.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is moderately salt tolerant, but does a lot better inland then it does on the coast.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 10b-12. Close to freezing temperatures just for a very short time can kill this palm. It tolerates a constantly mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme cold conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, well wrapped up, and possibly provide additional heat.
Wind hardiness: It can tolerate heat and moderately windy conditions.
Ornamental use: It is one of the most imposing of all palms, of particular ornamental and landscape value due to the robust whitish cylindrical stems and the thick top with the enormous rounded leaves; ideal for lining wide avenues, or utilized as isolated specimen or in group, in parks and very wide gardens in the tropical climate zones.
Traditional uses: The leaves of Corypha talieri, and also Corypha umbraculifera were once used as paper for writing. In India and Ceylon the place of the papyrus was supplied by these palm leaves, on whose hard and glossy surfaces Pali and Sanscrit characters were inscribed with a metal point. The leaves are much employed for making leaf hats and leaf umbrellas, for tying the rafters of houses and boats, as they are strong and durable.
Disease & Pests: It is quite resistant to pests but may require regular fertilization to prevent yellowing caused by potassium deficiencies; protect against frost.
Propagation: It reproduces by seed which germinates in 2-3 months; the growth initially is rather slow. The seeds germinate very easily when fresh. If not properly treated, the seed does not have long shelf life.
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