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Metroxylon sagu – Wikipedia

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– True sago palm is a suckering palm with multiple stems, each flowering only once.
– A stem can grow 7–25 metres tall before ending in an inflorescence.
– Before flowering, a stem bears about 20 pinnate leaves up to 10m long.
– The inflorescence is 3–7.5m tall and wide, with spirally arranged branches.
– The fruit is drupe-like, about 5cm in diameter, covered in scales.

Distribution and habitat:
– Native to the Maluku Islands and New Guinea.
– Naturalized in other parts of tropical Asia, including Sumatra, Borneo, and Thailand.
– Thrives in lowland swamp forests.

– Commercially important as the main source of sago, a starch obtained from the trunk.
– Sago is used in cooking for puddings, noodles, breads, and as a thickener.
– Leaflets are used for thatching and can last up to five years.
– Dried petioles are used in construction and raft-making.
– Sago palm is propagated by replanting young suckers.

– Chinese historian Zhao Rukuo noted sago during the Song Dynasty.
– Sago was used as a grain substitute in the kingdom of Boni.
– Recent research suggests sago palm was an important food source in ancient coastal China.

– Rahman, W.; IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group & BGCI (2021).
– Schuiling, D.L. (2009) studied the growth and development of true sago palm.
– The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants (2009) mentions sago palms.
– Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia have information on Metroxylon sagu.
– Ancient China used sago palms as a major plant food before rice cultivation.

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