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Copyright © Richard Koh


Pinanga capitata var. capitata

Bumburing Palm

A smallish palm with slender, solitary or clustering trunks to about 5 m (17 ft.) tall. A small crownshaft holds a sparse crown of somewhat wispy leaves with about 16 pairs of unusually thick and leathery, dull green leaflets. The terminal pair on each side of the midrib is usually joined together and not smaller than the rest of the leaflets, giving the leaf an odd, square shape. It is native to the understory of montane rainforests above 800 m (2600 ft.) on the island of Borneo. On Mount Kinabalu it reaches altitudes of 3000 m (9800 ft.), perhaps the highest for any palm (excepting Calamus gibbsianus) in Asia. It will thrive in conditions suitable for Ceroxylon and some high altitude Geonoma from South America, but it can also be grown in all but the hottest tropical climates. It will succeed best where it can be afforded a protected position out of wind and too much sun. It is common enough in parts of Borneo that the leaves are sometimes used as thatch, a practice that requires a large amount of these fairly small leaves. The palm heart is reportedly also eaten in soup. Despite being rather common in the wild, Pinanga capitata is quite rare in cultivation, perhaps, in part, because its tolerance of cool conditions is virtually unknown.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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