June 26, 2008

Talipot Palm

"This colossal palm has a trunk that grows up to 80 feet tall, leaves to 16 feet across, and the largest flower cluster in the plant kingdom. The leaves, used as parasols and umbrellas, are large enough to shelter seven or eight people. When the plant reaches maturity at twenty to eighty years, the tree begins producing somewhat smaller leaves and develops a gigantic flowerstalk at the very top. Ten to twelve months later up to a ton of mature seeds are scattered as the tree dies."

-- description from the garden

The Talipot is native to India and Sri Lanka. Fairchild's specimen is already in the process of dying.

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