The Power of Palm | God's World News

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The Power of Palm
Science Soup
Posted: May 01, 2024
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    Chin Choeun climbs a palm tree. (AP/Heng Sinith)
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    Palmyra palm fruit (Getty Images)
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    Palmyra palm syrup is dark in color. (Pankesum handout)
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    A hat made from palm leaves (Getty Images)
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    A roof made with palm leaves (Getty Images)
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We said Mr. Choeun has climbed trees for 36 years. But part of that sentence isn’t exactly true. Can you guess which?

It’s “trees.” Palms aren’t exactly trees, even though people call them that. Trees have four layers: bark, phloem (which moves sugars through the tree), cambium (which makes the tree grow thicker), and xylem (which moves water up the tree to the leaves). Palm parts are not arranged the same way. Palms also do not grow thicker as they age. They grow more like celery than trees!

Cambodians in the countryside live lives full of palm. Can you think of any other plant you can use to build a house, weave a hat, and bake a cake?

Palm’s parts. Palmyra palms’ small flowers bloom greenish-yellow. After the blossom comes the fruit, which looks kind of like a coconut. Cut one open, and you’ll find three sockets full of seeds and sweet whitish flesh. Palmyra fruit goes in desserts such as palm cakes.

A spoon full of palm syrup helps the medicine go down? Syrup from Palmyra palms comes from the flowering parts, not the trunk. Unlike maple syrup, palmyra palm syrup is not see-through. It’s dark. People use it to sweeten food, drinks, and medicine.

Need a hat? Leaf it to palm! Artisans let palm leaves dry and toughen under the Sun. Next, they iron the leaves and build a frame from bamboo. Finally, they attach the palm leaves in a web structure to the frame. Palm leaves are also used to make baskets and roofs.

Home sweet palm. Cambodian palms can grow up to 100 feet tall. They grow slowly, and it may take 20 years for the palm to produce fruit. The trunk is used to build boats, houses, souvenirs, and furniture.