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Metroxylon sagu

AuthorityRottb.
FamilyLiliopsida:Arecidae:Arecales:Palmae
SynonymsMetroxylon rumphii (Willd.) Mart., Metroxylon rumphii Mart
Common namessago palm, true sago palm, sago, sagoutier, sagopalme, pohon, ambulung, kirai (Sudan), saksak
Editor
Ecocrop code1466



Notes
DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized evergreen tree (palm) reaching 7-25 m in height and a trunk diameter of 30-60 cm. It produces basal suckers. The roots are spongy and not extending to a great depth. The palm may have 18-24 leaves, usually 5-7 m long but sometimes up to twice as long. USES: The starch stored in the trunk is used as a staple food and can also be converted to alcohol for use as a bio-fuel. Usually, wet starch is boiled, fried or roasted, alone or mixed with other foodstuffs. It is also be used industrially in the manufacture of cakes, noodles, kerupuk and custards powders. Non-food uses include sizing pastes for paper and textiles. Young trunks, pith and pith refuse can be fed to animals. The 'bark' can be used as timber or fuel. Walls, ceilings, fences, cordage, mats and baskets can be made from the leaves. The growing point of the palm (palm cabbage) may be eaten raw or cooked. Certain larvae and mushroom living off the plant are edible. KILLING T.: May not tolerate 10oC for prolonged periods. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. Each trunk produces a vast terminal inflorescence when 7-15 years old and then dies after fruiting. COMMON NAMES: Sago palm, Smooth sago palm, Pokok, Pohon, Sagu, Rumbia, Sagoutier, Pohon rumbia, Kirai, Ambulung, Kersula, Lapia, Sak-sak, Lumbia, Thagu-bin, Sa kuu, Sa khu. FURTHER INF.: Scientific synonyms: M. rumphii, M. squarrosum. Sago palm occurs wild in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and the Philippines. The latitudinal range is 13oN to 23oS and it can be found at elevations between sea level and 700 m or even up to 1200 m. It thrives in lowland swampy coastal plains, flood plains of rivers and higher up on flat valley floors, with a relative air humidity about 90% and an irradiance of about 9 MJ/m2. Occasional flooding, even with saline water is tolerated. Mentioned as a useful agro-forestry species. A single palm may yield about 180-350 kg sago. In the swamp groves, there are about 60-140 palms/ha. Top annual yield of dry starch from the first crop of palms of short life cycle in Malaysia is about 25 t/ha, equivalent to 138 trunks of 180 kg each. Yields of the subsequent ratoon crop may be about 15/t/ha, from 85 trunks of 180 kg each. Production from uncultivated palms may be 20-400 kg per plant.
Sources
Hackett C 1984b [RAIN, TEMP, LIG, DEP, DRA, PH, SAL, TEXT, FER]
Hackett C 1982 pp 150 [FER, PHO, DEP, PH, TEXT, TEMP]
Purseglove J 1972 pp 426-427 [USE]
Nair P 1984 pp 25 [RAIN, DRA, TEXT, SAL, USE]
Nair P 1980 pp 321-322 [DRA, USE]
Westphal E 1989 pp 180-185 [USE, TEMP, LIG, SAL, DRA, FER, TEXT]