Hypaene dichotoma is distributed in the sand dunes of the west coast of India from Goa to Saurashtra. The palm is seen mostly in habitations of former Portuguese colonies. Plantations of this palm along the Diu coast have been taken up by the Forest Department to create an effective coastal shelter-belt. It is said that the palm was introduced to India by Portuguese sailors from Africa, as they employed the oil-rich seeds of this palm to light up their ships during night time. However, fossil petioles resembling closely with those of this palm and fruits assignable to species of genus Hyphaene have been described from Deccan intertrappean exposures of India. The fruits remain buried in the sand and germinate readily at the onset of monsoon.
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