Taxon: Areca catechu L.

Genus: Areca
Family: Arecaceae (alt.Palmae)
  Subfamily: Arecoideae
      Tribe: Areceae
        Subtribe: Arecinae
Nomen number: 3903
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:1189. 1753 "cathecu"
Name Verified on: 21-Apr-2008 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 21-Apr-2008
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
Accessions: 21 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Human food: vegetable (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Fuels: miscellaneous fuel (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Materials: beads (fide Bot Beads World; as,)
  • Materials: fiber (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Medicines: folklore (source of arecoline fide Import Medicinal Pl; CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2; Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide Lampe & McCann)
  • Social: masticatory (offering and chewing nuts serve a religious function; flowers used in weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies fide Edible Nuts)
  • Social: religious/secular (offering and chewing nuts serve a religious function; flowers used in weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies fide Edible Nuts)
  • Social: stimulant (fide Pl Res SEAs 16:51. 2000)

Distributional Range:


    . exact native range obscure


  • Asia-Tropical

    • Malesia: Philippines

  • Cultivated:

  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Tanzania
    • Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar
  • Asia-Temperate

    • China: China
    • Eastern Asia: Taiwan
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh; India; Sri Lanka
    • Indo-China: Cambodia; Laos; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
    • Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea
  • Pacific

    • Northwestern Pacific: Micronesia
    • Southwestern Pacific: Solomon Islands; Vanuatu


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  • Backer, C. A. & R. C. Bakhuizen van den Brink, Jr. Flora of Java. 1963-1968 (F Java)
  • Bensky, D., A. Gamble, & T. J. Kaptchuk Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica, rev. ed. 1993 (Chin Herb Med)
  • Duke, J. A. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 1985 (CRC MedHerbs)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Elevitch, C. R., ed. The traditional tree initiative: species profiles for Pacific Island agroforestry (on-line resource). (Trad Tree Init)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Farnsworth, N. R. & D. D. Soejarto Global importance of medicinal plants (unpublished draft manuscript rev. 23, 1988) (Import Medicinal Pl)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Furtado, C. X. 1960. The philological origin of Areca and Catechu (Principes) 4:26-31.
  • Govaerts, R. & J. Dransfield World checklist of palms. 2005 (L Palms)
  • Hackett, C. & J. Carolane Edible Horticultural Crops. 1982 (Edible HC)
  • Hanelt, P., ed. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 2001 (Mansf Ency)
  • Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine Medicinal plants in China: a selection of 150 commonly used species. WHO Regional Publications, Western Pacific Series no. 2. 1989 (Med Pl China)
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  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. 1985 (Lampe & McCann)
  • Li, H. L. et al., eds. Flora of Taiwan. 1975-1979 (F Taiwan)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Moore, H. E., Jr. 1963. An annotated checklist of cultivated palms (Principes) 7:126.
  • Núñez Meléndez, E. Plantas medicinales de Puerto Rico: Folklore y fundamentos científicos. 1982 (Pl Med PR)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. 1970- (F Pak)
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  • Parham, J. W. Plants of the Fiji islands, revised ed. 1972 (F Fiji)
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  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Rosengarten, F. The book of edible nuts. 1984 (Edible Nuts)
  • Smith, A. C. Flora vitiensis nova. 1979-1991 (F Viti)
  • Smith, R. J. Botanical beads of the world (on-line resource). (Bot Beads World)
  • St. John, H. List and summary of the flowering plants in the Hawaiian islands. 1973 (L Hawaii)
  • Uhl, N. W. & J. Dransfield Genera palmarum: a classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore, Jr. 1987 (Gen Palm)
  • Vossen, H. A. M. van der & M. Wessel, eds. 2000. Stimulants (Pl Res SEAs) 16:51.
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Check other web resources for Areca catechu L. :

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.