Monocarpic palm exhibiting an erect single trunk, up to 98 ft tall, bearing ringed scars left by fallen leaves. The trunk reaches its maximum height before bloom. Leaves are 9 to 20 ft long. Flowers are unisexual on monoecious plants, alternating on apical, branched inflorescences, enveloped by 2 carinate, marginally fibrous spathes. Fruits, as large as cherries, are globose and reddish. Blooms appear from top to lower branches, and after the last bloom on the lowest level the palm dies. The sap of this palm is very high in simple sugars. In India and other Asian countries, the palm is tapped for its syrup which is often fermented into an alcoholic beverage called toddy. The syrup is also processed into a granular sugar called jaggery.