Location in BHU campus : Restricted distribution. Found near the entry gate of IMS building near MMV crossing and Botany Department garden.
Botanical name : Borassus flabellifer L.
Family : Arecaceae/Palmae
Vernacular / local Name : Assam-Tal; Bengali-Tal, talgachh; Gujarati-Tad, tal, tar-ka-jhar; Hindi-Tar, tae ; Kannada-Talimara, taatinungumara; Malayalam-karimpana, nongu(kernel), pana, talam; Marathi-Tad, talat-maa, tamar; Oriya-Talo, tanlo, trinorajo; Sanskrit-Thrinaraja; Tamil-Karumpanei, Nongu(kernel), panai-maram; Telugu-taadichettu, tooti
English / Trade names : Palmyra palm ,Brab tree
A very tall palm,20-23 m in height, erect ,dioecious with a crown of 30-40 large leaves. Leaves fan shaped 1-1.5 m in diameter, coriaceous, palmately divided into 60-80 segments.Flowers yellow,in large spadix;male spadix stout,cylindric,branched,bracts enclosing spikelets;female spadix sparingly branched.Fruit a drupe,15-20 cm in diameter ,enclosed by enlarged perianth, trigonous when young, spherical when old.
It is venerated by Hindus and Buddhists. The planting of this tree is considered good and supposed to secure the kingdom of heaven.
It is a source of food, sweet toddy, jaggery, sugar,vinegar,palm –wine, medicine and wood. Sugar and toddy have been made from it for more than 4000 years. The leaves are used for thatching,umbrellas,fans,diaper articles,hats etc. Fibre and cordage are obtained from many parts of the plant.The fibres are used to make baskets, brushes and brooms. Wood is extensively employed in house –building in villages. Wood is used as rafters; hollowed out stems are used as water conduits. In ancient India the leaves were used as writing material ,the parallel lines served as ruled note books. The folded sections of the leaves known as ‘Cadjans’ were employed which was scratched on the surface with a stylus. The plant is a host for many animals and birds. TalaVilasam ,a famous tamil poem describes 801 uses of the palm ; even this poem does not exhaust the list !!