Areca catechu Linn. Palmae. Areca Nut. Betel Nut. Catechu. Pinang.
East Indies. This handsome palm is cultivated throughout the Indian Archipelago, in Ceylon and the west side of India for the sake of its seed which is known under the names areca nut, pinang and betel nut; the nut is about the size of a nutmeg. These nuts are consumed, when dry, in great quantity, a small portion being separated, put into a leaf of piper-betle over which a little quick-lime is laid, then rolled up and chewed altogether. It tinges the saliva red and stains the teeth. Whole shiploads of this nut, so universally in use among the Eastern natives, are exported annually from Sumatra, Malacca, Siam and Cochin China. The heart of the leaves, according to Seemann, is eaten as a salad and has not a bad flavor as Blanco writes.
Areca glandiformis Lam.
Moluccas. In Cochin China the leaves are chewed with the betel nut.
Areca laxa Buch.-Ham.
Andaman Islands. The nuts of this plant are used instead of the betel nut by the convicts confined on, Andaman Islands.