Cabbage Palm (areca oleracea), the highest of the American palms, often attaining an elevation of 150 ft., with a trunk not more than 6 in. in diameter. It is found abundantly in the West Indies, and is very distinct from the East Indian species of areca. The leaves grow only from the top, and their sheaths are so close that they form the green top of the trunk 1 1/2 ft. in length. The inhabitants cut off this top, take out the white heart of 2 or 3 in. in diameter, consisting of delicate leaves closely folded together which have been protected from any access of light, and eat it either raw, fried, or boiled. A tree which has grown for half a century is often cut down for the single bud or cabbage which crowns it.
Cabbage Leaf and Flowers.
Cabbage Palm (Areca oleracea).