Iguanura wallichiana var. major
A truly spectacular dwarf palm, the Iguanura wallichiana var. major is native to Peninsular Malaysia, where it is given the nickname “Pinang Burung” (which translates as “bird nut”). It is believed that it is called this because of its seeds commonly being distributed by birds.
The natural habitat of this palm is in the undergrowth of tropical lowland forests, under the thick canopy of trees. The Iguanura wallichiana var. major forms a dense cluster of trunkless plants with vivid green, undivided leaves.
Each frond of this palm has 2-9 lobes and can be described as being “pinnate” or “feather-like”, which could be another reason attributing to its common name referring to birds. The young frond of the Pinang Burung is an attractive reddish-brown – hence, the palm is cultivated for its ornamental leaves.
There are three Iguanura wallichiana var. major thriving in the Merwin Palm Collection.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
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All photos by Sara Tekula for The Merwin Conservancy.