Description: Fishtail palms are large trees, at least 18 meters (60 feet) tall. Their leaves are unlike those of any other palm; the leaflets are irregular and toothed on the upper margins. All other palms have either fan-shaped or featherlike leaves. Its massive flowering shoot is borne at the top of the tree and hangs downward.
Habitat and Distribution: The fishtail palm is native to the tropics of India, Assam, and Myanmar. Several related species also exist in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. These palms are found in open hill country and jungle areas.
Edible Parts: The chief food in this palm is the starch stored in large quantities in its trunk. The juice from the fishtail palm is very nourishing and you have to drink it shortly after getting it from the palm flower shoot. Boil the juice down to get a rich sugar syrup. Use the same method as for the sugar palm to get the juice. The palm cabbage may be eaten raw or cooked.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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