A genus of giant fan palms which are among the most massive of all palms. The stem is solitary, forming a gigantic, terminal, tree-like inflorescence, and then dying. The flowers are bisexual. The petals are free, and the ovary trilocular: only 1 locule develops to fruit. The stem yields a reddish sago. The leaf sheaths yield useful fibre and the blades are used for writing material. The endosperm is a vegetable ivory. C. umbraculifera (talipot palm), is the most massive species. There are 8 species, found from India to northern Australia in seasonally dry climates.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.