Mangrove Date Palm
A smallish, clustering date palm that is widely distributed in mangrove or swamp forest from easternmost India south to the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. It grows a small cluster of slender trunks that are, at first, clothed in coarse, fibrous leaf sheaths, becoming bare with age. The mildly plumose, gracefully arching leaves hold many soft, narrow, slightly drooping leaflets that are distinctly grayish below and pale green above. The attractive purple to black fruits are held in dense clusters. Though not uncommon in habitat, it is very rarely seen in cultivation. It requires some maintenance to trim old leaves and suckers but will make an extraordinary ornamental that, despite its tropical habitat, adapts well to cooler climates and will take an occasional light frost without harm.