A family, formerly known as Palmae, of solitary or clumped, small or tall, unbranched trees whose leaves are palmate or pinnate, the leaflets being plicate. The flowers are small, trimerous, and unisexual or bisexual, the inflorescence having various bracts. Fruits are mostly 1-seeded berries or drupes, fleshy to dry, and indehiscent, varying greatly in size from pea-like to the double coconut (Lodoicea). Many species are ornamentals, and many yield valuable economic products, including thatch (e.g. Nypa), starch (e.g. Metroxylon), and oil (Orbignya, Cocos, and Elaeis). There are about 207 genera and 2675 species, chiefly tropical, but some subtropical, and a few occurring as temperate outliers.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.