Corypha utan Lamk

Corypha utan Lamk




Corypha gembanga (Blume) Blume, Corypha elata Roxburgh, Corypha gebanga Blume.

Vernacular Names


Gebang, ibus.


Gebang palm, buri palm, agel palm.

Indonesia Gebang, gewang, lontar utan (general).

Buri (Bikol, Bisaya, Pampango, Tagalog), silag (Ilokano, Pangasinan), buli (Bisaya, Taga­log).


Lan, lan-phru (southern).

Geographical Distributions

Corypha utan occurs wild and cultivated from India (Assam, An­dam an Islands), Sri Lanka and Bangladesh throughout Southeast Asia to tropical Australia.


Corypha utan is a robust, solitary, one-stemmed and bisexual palm that can reach up to 10-30 m tall. Its stem is erect, columnar, measures 35-75 cm in diametre, unarmed and closely ringed with leaf scars.

The leaves are crowded which form a large crown, early withering and tend to abscise under their own weight. The petiole is robust, measures 2-5(-7) m long, deeply furrowed and with sharp-toothed margins. The blade is orbicular, costapalmate, measures 1.5-3.5 m in diame­tre, and regularly divided to about half of its radius into 80-100, single-fold and linear segments.

The inflorescence is massive, terminal, much-branched and 3-6 m long. The whole inflorescence bears up to 10(-60) million flowers. The flowers are bi­sexual, with tubular sepal, 3-lobed and about 1.5 mm long. There are 3 boat-shaped petals about 3 mm long, white and fragrant. There are 6 stamens, about as long as the petal and with narrowly triangular filaments. The pistil is with 3­-grooved, 3-celled ovary, short style and 3-dentate stigma.

The fruit is a berry-like drupe, nearly globular, measures 2-3.5 cm in diametre, olive-green, with fleshy pericarp, membranous endocarp and it is on a stalk 3-5 mm long. The seed is spherical, measures 1-1.5 cm in diametre hard and with remote-­tubular germination.

Ecology / Cultivation

Corypha utan palms are mostly associated with human settlements. In the wild, they are probably a feature of open seral communities such as alluvial plains or coastal forests, and they do not occur in climax tropical rainforests. C. utan com­monly grows in lowland open locations, rarely above 400 m above sea level. In Java, it is found in open locations, especially grasslands, up to 200 m altitude, but not along beaches or in mangroves. In Malaysia, it is common in the open country in the north. Flowering seems to be induced by long dry periods.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.17: Fibre plants.