Actinorhytis calapparia (Blume) Wendl. and Drude. - CALAPPA PALM

Scientific names

Actinorhytis calapparia Blume
Areca calapparia Blume
Seaforthia calapparia Mart.
Ptychosperma calapparia Miq.

Common names

Tañgalo (Bag.)
Calappa palm (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

MALAYSIA: Pinang penawar, Pinang kelapa.
MAROVO: Bakovara.

Calappa is a large palm with erect stems, much like the habit of the tall Areca catechu, about 10 meters high. Leaves are pinnate, the blade measuring 70 to 90 centimeters long; the pinnae are linear, 50 to 60 centimeters long, 3 to 4 centimeters wide. Spadix is ascending with 2 spathes. Male flowers are small with imbricate sepals, much shorter than the valvate corolla. Sepals and petals of the female flowers are imbricate. Fruiting spadix is spreading. Fruits are orange-yellow, pendulous ovoid, the size of a duck’s egg and containing one seed.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1)  STUDIES ON THE ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF ACTINORHYTIS CALAPPARIA / H.N. Krishna Kumar*, Preethi, S.D. and Jyoti Bala Chauhan / International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology, Vol 3, No 2, April-June 2012


– Isolated trees in settled areas, at altitudes of about 500 meters, in Davao (MIndanao).
– Introduced.
– Small garden cultivation.
– Widely distributed in the Malay Archipelago.

Parts used
Ripe nut.

– Phytochemical screening yielded tannins, steroids, carbohydrates and amino acids.

– Ripe nut is medicinal, chewed by the Malays as betel substitute.
– In Sumatra, used for scurf.

– Widely cultivated in Southeast Asia and Malesia where villagers attribute it magical or medicinal powers.
– Betel substitute.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant: Study of aqueous and methanolic fruit extracts showed dose-dependent antioxidant activity using DPPH and ferric reducing model assays. The total phenolic content were 56 and 64.3 mg/g equivalent of gallic acid respectively.