Morphology and description
This is an unbranched graceful palm attaining a height of
20-30 m at diameter at breast height. The crown is globose, borne at the tip of the
solitary stem. This palm, unlike other palms does not show the persistent leaf scars.
However, it has a rough surface and are brownish grey in appearance. Leaves palmately
dissected partly and are reniform or oval in shape, plicate, divided into 70-100
segments(2-15) segments during seeding stage). In general, the leaves have a size of 1.8
2.5 m X 1.5-1.8 m and are borne on a long petiole with stout spines along the
Inflorescences appear axillary and interfoliar, 1-1.5 m long,
peduncle strong flattened, 4-6 m long. The spathe(bract) reddish brown, boat shaped, hard
and striate. The inflorescence is much branched panicled with numerous lateral branches.
Flowers creamy white/yellow, small,clustered on tubercles at base, solitary or paired on
the distal parts of the branches (rachilla). Perianth lobes 3, hard and stout, stamens 3.
Fruits drupe 1.8 2.5 cm in diameter,globose,copper-clue in colour when ripe,
pericarp leathery and fleshy. Seeds globose, shinning brown with a broad raphae like line,
endosperm horny, whitish. Flowering takes place during February to March. Fruiting occur
from September to December.
The tree is endemic to northeast India. It grows upto an
elevation of 1100 m . It is usually encountered in nature in the tropical evergreen
forests and sub-tropical broad leaved forests. Through the species is found in all the
districts, the larger concentration is towards the central and eastern parts of the state
particularly in Upper Subsnsiri, West Siang and East Siang district. Apart from its
natural occurrence, it is largely cultivated the local people in their jhum/community
lands and village areas. It may also be mentioned that this palm is considered to be an
endangered one and included in the red data book of Indian plants.
Toko, as mentione earlier, is a multipurpose tree species of
great value throughout the northeastern states. It is extensively used in the states of
Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. This plant is very important in the interior far flung
areas. In fact it is almost like the mithun in importance to the people. Some of the uses
of the different parts are mentioned in Table below.
regeneration occurs by means of the seeds. Profuse regeneration can be seen (as in West
Siang district) in the vicinity of nature fruiting trees along partial open moist slopes.
The seeds fallen over ground or carried over by birds and squirrel lime animals are
dropped on soil during winter months start germination in good habitat with pre-monsoon
showers in April-May and often establish to form plants. However, survival percentage is
very low due to cattle damage and adverse ecological factors. Despite this, natural
regeneration is usually observed as gregarious patches.