In Southeast Asia, the collection of sugary sap from palm flower stalks has been widely conducted. The major palm trees used for sugary sap collection are the following four species: coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.), aren palm {Arenga pinnata Merr. and A. obtusifolia Mart.), palmyra palm (Borassus üabellifer L.), and nipa palm (Nypa fruticans Wurmb.X

Their growing regions are different, being dependent upon their biological characteristics. The coconut palm requires a temperature of 27~30°C for growth and an optimum annual rainfall at the lebel of 1,600^2,000 mm. Its growth is restricted to about 1,000m above sea level or lower in the equatorial region. Coconut palm trees are an essential component of a seashore scene in Southeast Asia but they can be also cultivated in inland districts, if there is sufficient rainfall. The aren palm; which is called a sugar palm in some areas, is of Malay origin and can grow in mountainous and hilly districts higher than the land where coconut palms grow. Since sugarcane cultivation is competitive with wet-rice cultivation, the aren palm; which can grow also in piedmont districts is receiving attention as a valuable sugar resource. The palmyra palm is of tropical African origin and grows widely in dry regions of Southeast Asia such as in Burma, Cambodia, South Celebes and the Lesser Sunda Islands in the wild or under semi-cultivated condition. The nipa palm grows in stock in swampy and brackish water regions

behind the mangrove woods of the seashore. The traditional methods for collecting sugary sap from the

flower stalks of palm inflorescences have been designed in response to the morphological feature of inflorescens of each The yields of sugary sap per palm tree are different depending on the area, fertility, species and collecting procedure, varying in a range of 2^20 litres/day, but mostly 5^10 litres/day. The methods used to determine the best time to collect sugary sap from the palms vary with different places. For example, in the Menado district of North Celebes, the native inhabitants identify the optimum period by examining the decreased viscosity of the excretion from a section on test cutting of a male flower in the bud of the aren palm.