According to Riffle & Craft in their book "An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms", Arenga pinata has been in cultivation so long that its exact origin is uncertain. They take a calculated guess saying most likely its origin is probably the rain forests of western Indonesia. Well let me tell you if it came from a "rain forest" it sure like my desert. Check this out:
In November of 1998 I bought a small palm in a gallon pot. Two years later it went in the ground and looked like this:
A year later it grew into this:
And in February of 2008 it is so big and surrounded by so many other plants that it is hard to photograph. If you look hard you can see it's gigantic fronds reaching for the sky in the rear center of this next picture. I really have to do some clearing in the area so I can get a better picture. Now remember this is just about 7 years in the ground. WOW! Imagine what it would look like planted at Bo's place w/all the rain he gets on the Big Island.