Solomon’s Sago – another Sago palm species

How is this sago different?

The Solomon’s sago palm that occurs in the North Solomon province and in the Solomon Islands is quite different from the sago that grows in other areas of Papua New Guinea. It has a different scientific name. The scientific name is Metroxylon salomonense. Originally, the sago in North Solomon Province was called Metroxylon bougainvillense but now that name has been shown to be not correct as the plant is the same as the one in the Solomon Islands.

How is it different?

The leaves or fronds of this sago palm are much larger than those of the other Papua New Guinea sago palm. As well the seeds are much larger, and this sago does not produce suckers. The stem of the Solomon’s sago is also larger and the flower at the top of the palm is very large.

Growing Solomon island sago.

This sago is grown from seeds, and it does not produce suckers. The seeds are large – up to 6 cm or more across.

Solomon’s sago seed – 6 cm across

This sago normally grows in drier sites than for the normal sago in Papua New Guinea. The seeds are often planted on a bank or along a ridge away from a creek or swamp. It still grows quite well in these sites.

How is it used?

This sago is harvested, pounded, washed and the starch collected in much the same way as for other sago. In Bougainville, people normally only use it during times of food shortage or when they wish to hold a feast and need large amounts of food.