Palmetum is a live collection of indigenous and exotic palms, which serves as a facility for educating the public about the need for conservation of palms. Palms are woody monocotyledons coming under the family Arecaceae (Palmae). They form a vital component of the forest ecosystem. With their graceful architecture, palms often dominate the landscape of tropical habitats, providing many of the essentials for human life. Palms have been managed by the local inhabitants for food, fodder, handicrafts, thatch and construction material. Because of their aesthetic value, palms are cultivated for both indoor and outdoor decoration.
There are about 2600 species of palms under 200 genera in the world. In India 105 species under 22 genera occur in the three major geographical regions viz., Peninsular India, North eastern India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Although conservation and sustainable utilization of this resource assumes great importance, conservation attempts have not received significant world-wide attention.
KFRI Palmetum was established in Peechi Campus in 2000 which contains 145 species of palms under 52 genera. Of these, 80 are indigenous palms and 65 are exotic species with 8 species are Critically Endangered, 9 Endangered, 8 Vulnerable and 23 Near Threatened categories as per IUCN standards. The exotic species include those which are commonly found in Indian parks, gardens and along avenues. The rare species like Hyphaene dichotoma, Bentinckia condapanna, Bentinckia nicobarica, Rhopaloblaste augusta, Calamus nagbettai, C.brandisii, C. andamanicus, C. vattayila, Wallichia disticha, W.nana, Korthalsia laciniosa, Korthalsia rogersii, Licuala spinosa and mangrove species like Phoenix paludosa and Nypa fruticans are also represented in the collection.