Palms are woody monocotyledons belonging to the plant family Arecaceae (Palmae). Palms are vital component of the tropical forest ecosystem. With their graceful architecture, palms form characteristic features of some tropical habitats. Palms are managed by the indigenous populations for food, fodder, handicrafts, thatches and construction materials. Owing to their aesthetic value, palms are cultivated for both indoor and outdoor decoration.
There are as many as 2600 species of palms (within 200 genera) in the world. A total of 106 species of palms belonging to 22 genera are found distributed across the three major geographical regions of India viz., Peninsular India, North eastern India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Although conservation and sustainable utilization of this resource assumes great importance, conservation attempts have not received significant world-wide attention.
KFRI Peechi Campus has a palmetum with live collections of indigenous and exotic palms, which serves as a facility for educating the public about the need for conservation of palms. The KFRI Palmetum contains 125 species of palms under 52 genera. Of these, 70 are indigenous palms and 55 are exotic