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Palms - Cycads, Solitary or sparsely clustering palm, never thicket-forming, with massive erect trunk 40–50 cm. in diameter, ultimately to ± 20 m. tall, but rarely reaching more that 8 m. in East Africa.
Male flower somewhat asymmetrical, rather obtuse at the tip, not acuminate; calyx to 2 mm. long; petals cream, fleshy, to 8 mm. long, 3 mm. wide; pistillode minute. Pistillate flower globose, ± 5 mm. in diameter at anthesis; calyx ± 2 mm. long; petals rounded ± 4 mm. long by 4 mm. wide, imbricate; carpels ±2.5 mm. long, only the reflexed stigmas exposed at anthesis.
Fruit very variable, 4–7 cm. long by 2–3 cm. wide, varying from yellow to orangey brown, to deep chestnut or almost black in colour, with mesocarp varying from thick, sweet and juicy to thin and dry.