the plant family Palmae (or Arecaceae; formerly, Palmaceae), characterized by chiefly tropical evergreen trees or shrubs having large compound leaves in featherlike or fanlike fronds, large clusters of small flowers, and fleshy or dry fruit, and including the palmettos, ornamental palms, and palms that are the source of carnauba wax, coconuts, dates, raffia, rattan, sago, and various oils.


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