Family • Arecaceae - Arenga tremula (Blanco) Becc. - PHILIPPINE DWARF SUGAR PALM - Fei Lu Bin Guang Lang

Scientific names

Caryota tremula Blanco
Wallichia tremula Mart.
Arenga mindorensis Becc.
Saguerus mindorensis O. F. Cook
Didymosperma tremulum Wendl. & Drude
Shan zong Chin.)

Common names

Abigi (Bik.) Dumayaka (Tag.)
Abiki (Bik.) Gumaka (Bik.)
Baris (Bag.) Gumayaka (Tag.)
Bat-bat (Tagb.) Rumaka (Bik.)
Bilis (Bik.) Tipon-tipon (Bik)
Dayaka (Tag.) Dwarf sugar palm (Engl.)
Dumaka (Tag.) Fei Lu Bin Guang Lang (Chin.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Sorting Arenga names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.


Unlike the kaong, gumayaka is a small, trunkless palm with thick and adventitious roots. Stems are not long, but relatively slender and occurring in clumps. Leaves are up to 5 to 8 meters long, spreading, with petioles 1 to 2 meters long, green, channeled along the base where the edges are fringede with black, ascending bristlelike fibers. The leaflets are linear, varying from 50 to 80 centimeters long and 1.5 to 4 centimeters wide, sometimes partially united at the apex, opposite or in alternating pairs, subglaucous underneath, the constricted base with a small lobe, truncate apex finely toothed, the midrib ridged beneath. Peduncles are about 30 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters thick. Male flowers are on separate stalks, about 1 centimeter long, the petals bulgiing out along valvate sides. Fruiting spikes are pendulous, longer and more numeroous than the male spikes. Fruit is globose, smooth, thin-skinned, scanty pulp, dark red when ripe, and usually two-seeded.


– In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes in Bataan, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon Provinces in Luzon; in Mindoro and Mindanao.

Medicinal properties
– Intoxicant, soporific.

• The bud (ubod), eaten in considerable quantity, is intoxicating followed by long periods of profound sleep.

• Stems provide a strong and stiff fiber.
• Leaf stalks split for making baskets.

Fruit is poisonoous and contains irritating raphides in the percarp.

Study Findings 
• No medicinal studies found.