Borassus (lontar, palmyra palm, tal; family Palmae) A genus of stout, solitary palm trees, with massive fan leaves which have short, spiny stalks split at the base, through which the sparsely branched, stout inflorescence hangs. They are dioecious, the flowers sunken in groups. The fruits are big, globose, and 18 cm in diameter. The pericarp is fibrous or fleshy, and is edible when ripe. There are 3 seeds, with thick, stony walls. The leaves provide writing material; the flower stalk is a source of toddy. The trees are much planted. There is 1 (or several polymorphic) species, native to Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, and seasonal areas from South-east Asia to Queensland.
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