The Seychelles have six palm species which occur no-where else in the world and are therefore considered as endemic to the archipelago/islands. North Island counts five of these six species. Some species were probably present before humans occupied the island and have been re-introduced during our island rehabilitation to replace alien invasive species as these were removed, whilst others, such as Coco de Mer were introduced to help preserve the species.
Palms mature slowly, and the task we embarked on to re-establish them as components of our native forests, is therefore a slow process, requiring patience. Hence our happiness after noticing that one of the Deckenia nobilis, planted at the turning circle where the road branches off respectively to Honeymoon Beach and Sunset Bar, produced flowers for a second time.
This palm species, also known in the local Creole language as “Palmis”, became rare because it was used to make the so-called “millionaire’s salad”, which involves removing the edible terminal bud and thereby killing the tree. On North Island, the divine palm salad served to our guests originates from the exotic commercial coconut palm instead, since “Palmis” is now a protected tree in the Seychelles.
When driving through the forest on your way to our Sunset Bar or Honeymoon Beach, you can distinguish the endemic palms by the spines on their stems, apparently as defence against the appetite of the Giant Tortoises! Deckenia palms are the ones with the yellow spines and long leaves with many leaflets, rather like a coconut tree.
Ask your Host or Villa Attendant to organize a forest walk with our knowledgeable guides, so we can show you our planted Coco-de-mers.