Propagated exclusively by seed but can collect seedlings from fruits dropped by bats and squirrels and raise them into mature palms. Sow mature seeds as whole fruits directly after harvesting or after a few days of drying in semi-shade. Germinates after about 90 days. Select seeds from tree that bears fruit early and regularly, has a large number of leaves on the crown, and has high fruit set. Select fruits that are fully mature and float vertically in water with the top end upward. Seedlings require shade. At 12-24 months plants with five or more leaves can be planted with a ball of earth adhering to the roots. Plant at a depth of about 90 cm in well-drained soils. Requires regular weeding and mulching. Irrigation used in some drier areas and usually cultivated around homes and along upland farm borders. It requires a high, well-distributed annual rainfall of 1500-5000 mm.
Tree Species (Scientific Name)
English Common Name
Indonesian Common Name
Pinang, Jambe (Javanese, Sundanese), Pua (Lesser Sunda Islands, the Moluccas)
Average Leaf Size (cm)
Elevational Range (m)
Exotic in Indonesia
Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Borneo, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku Islands, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Sumatra
Coffee Agroforestry Information
Common in Coffee Agroforestry
Tree Benefits and Uses
The betel nut is chewed as mild stimulant, contains a large quantity of tannin and oils, and can be sold at market. The nut is applied externally to ulcers, sores, wounds, swellings and skin diseases, and it is used as an antiparasitic for humans and animals, to stimulate menstrual discharge, as a cure for diarrhea, urinary disorders, edema (swelling caused by fluid retention), and low back pain. The fragrant flowers are used in weddings and funerals, its wood used for fencing, and the tree used as a garden accessory.