List of Palms That Can Be Tapped for Sap and Sugar Production

Hereunder is a list of palms that have been traditionally tapped for sap. The harvested sap has been processed into palm sugar but there are other uses.

List of Palms

As already mentioned on a separate page, the palms are considered one of the major sources of sugar in the world.

Special mention of Phoenix sylvestrisBorassus flabelliferCocos nucifera, and Arenga pinnata was made by Hill (1972) and these were also reviewed by Dalibard (1997; 1999) along with other palm species.

The entries on geographical distribution were obtained from (2011).

These palm trees are among more than 30 species that Dalibard (1997; 1999) reviewed as having been traditionally tapped for sap with promising prospects for use as animal feed.

The list is not exclusive.

Although most tapped palms yield sap with high sugar content, many are used to make wine, vinegar, and other products instead of sugar.

The author of this page himself has lived in close proximity to coconut palm trees that are tapped daily for sap.

He also had personal experience in the tapping of sweet palm or kaong (Arenga pinnata).

The List of Palms

Table 1. List of palms that have been utilized as sources of palm sugar in different tropical regions of the world.

Areca nut, Arecanut, Areca palm, Betel nut, Betel palm, BungaAreca catechuCultigen from Malesia
Aren GeloraArenga undulatifoliaBorneo, Philippines (Palawan), Sulawesi
Philippine Dwarf Sugar PalmArenga tremulaPhilippines
Sugar palm, Arenga palm, Kaong, Gomuti, Ijuk, Areng palm, Black fiber palmArenga pinnata syn. A. sacchariferaAssam to Malesia; China to C. Malesia
Asian Palmyra palm, Sugar palm tree, Toddy palm, Desert palmBorassus flabelliferIndia to SC. China and Indo-China, Jawa to Lesser Sunda Is.
Buri palm, Gebang palm, buli, Cabbage palm, Bajur palmCorypha elata / Corypha utanAndaman Is. to N. Australia; NE. India to N. Australia
Fishtail palm, Philippine fishtail palm, PugahanCaryota cumingiiPhilippines
Jaggery palm, Toddy palm, Solitary fishtail, Kitul palm, Wine palmCaryota urensSri Lanka, Myanmar and India
Coconut, Coconut palmCocos nuciferaC. Malesia to SW. Pacific, widely introduced elsewere
Date palmPhoenix dactyliferaArabian Pen. to S. Pakistan, widely introduced elsewere
Dwarf date palm, Senegal date palmPhoenix reclinataTrop. & S. Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, SW. Arabian Pen.
Wild date palm, Silver date palm, Sugar date palmPhoenix sylvestrisIndian Subcontinent to W. Myanmar; Pakistan to Himalaya, E. India to Bangladesh
Nipa palm, Water coconut, Attap palm, Mangrove palmNypa fruticansSri Lanka to Nansei-shoto and Caroline Is.
Talipot palmCorypha umbraculiferaSW India, Sri Lanka


DALIBARD C. 1997. The potential of tapping palm trees for animal production. Retrieved December 17, 2011, from

DALIBARD C. 1999. Overall view on the tradition of tapping palm trees and prospects for animal production. Livestock Research for Rural Development. Vol. 11, No. 1. Retrieved December 17, 2011, from

GLOBALSPECIES.ORG 2011. Accessed December 17, 2011, thru

HILL AF. 1972. Economic Botany. TMH ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. p. 210-241.

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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