Scientific Name: Phoenix pusilla
Tamil Name: Chitreechai
Description: No taller than 2 m, this species is usually solitary stemmed but clumps do occur naturally. At 25 cm in diameter, the trunks are covered with distinct leaf-base scars, forming a ‘wicker’ pattern. Their distinguishable trunks have made them popular in cultivation. They are drought tolerant and slow-growing.
Habitat and description: A scrub endemic to the Coromandel Coast. They are found in lowlands, ridges and hills.
Note: In Sri Lanka, the plant is known as “Indi-gaha” The name has most likely come from “indo”, meaning coming from India. The leaf of rachis is used for making baskets. The pith that is heart of the palm is edible. This is plant has lots of medicinal properties.
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean