Palm–the state tree of Tamil Nadu–is perhaps the most underrated tree. An indigenous tree that like the Neem “just simply grows”. No demands. No asks. It is perfectly suited to this geography and has been part of our lives from days gone by. That it supports a range of livelihood is little known outside of Tamil Nadu, where it is called “celestial tree” as all its parts are useful, and not just for making some amazing handicraft items. History books relate the use of palm in its varied forms in art, culture, ritual and every day life.
Newly germinated seeds form fleshy sprouts below the surface is highly nutritious just as the mature seed’s hardshell hides a crunchy kernel that tastes like a sweet water chestnut. In ancient times, dried palm leaves were used to write manuscripts.