Salak Facts

Salak scientifically known as Salacca zalacca is a species of palm tree (family Arecaceae) native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It is cultivated in other regions as a food crop, and reportedly naturalized in Bali, Lombok, Timor, Malaysia, Maluku and Sulawesi. The fruits grow in clusters at the base of the palm, and are also known as snake fruit due to the reddish-brown scaly skin. The fruit inside consists of three lobes with the two larger ones, or even all three, containing a large inedible seed. The lobes resemble, and have the consistency of, large peeled garlic cloves.  Salak fruits mature five to seven months after pollination. The tree produces fruits all year round but usually peak around May and December in Indonesia. Harvesting takes place at a fruit age of 5-7 months. Fruits are recommended to be harvested before they are fully ripe, by severing the bunch using a reaping knife.

Name Salak
Scientific Name Salacca zalacca
Native Native to South Sumatra and southwest Java.
Common/English Name Edible-Fruited Salak Palm, Edible Salacca, Salak, Salak Palm, Snake Fruit, Snake Palm, Snake- Skinned Fruit.
Name in Other Languages Brazil: Fruta Cobra
Thai: Sala
Burmese: Yingan
Malaysia: Salak
Danish: Salak
Portuguese: Fruta Cobra (Brazil)
Dutch: Salak
Sundanese: Salak
Finnish: Salaki
Swedish: Salak
German: Salakpalme
Lithuanian: Valgomoji salakpalmė
Indonesia: Salak
Spanish: Salaca
Japanese: Sarakka Yashi
Russian: Салак
Javanese: Salak
Polish: Oszpilna jadalna
Chinese: Ke Shi Sa La Ka Zong
French: Palmier Salak
Komi: Салак
Plant Growth Habit An evergreen, acaulescent, very spiny, tillering, usually dioecious palm
Growing Climate Thrives under humid tropical lowland conditions. Salak is usually grown under partial shade as it grows and performs better than in full sun.
Soil Cultivated on mineral soils such as well-drained clayey loams, sandy loams and lateritic soils.
Root Superficial, not deep
Stem Subterranean stolons, with a short, 1–2 m high, 10–15 cm diameter, erect aerial part bearing the leaves.
Leaf Pinnatipartite, 3–6 m long. Leaves, leaf-sheaths, petioles and leaflets have numerous long, thin, blackish spines. Petioles are very spiny and 2 m long. Leaflet segments are unequal, linear-lanceolate, with narrowed base, concave, apex caudate and acute, 20–70 cm by 2–7.5 cm.
Flower Paired in axils of scales; male flowers with reddish, tubular corolla and 6 stamens borne on the corolla throat and a tiny pistillode; female flowers with tubular corolla, yellow-green outside and dark red inside, a trilocular ovary with short 3-fid, red style and 6 staminodes borne on the corolla throat.
Fruit Shape & Size Sub globose to ellipsoid drupe, 15–40 per spadix, measuring 5–7 cm by 5 cm, tapering towards base and rounded at the top.
Fruit Color Numerous brown to orangey-brown, yellow, united, imbricate scales
Fruit Skin Dark brown skin
Flesh Color White
Taste Sweet and slightly acidic
Seed Blackish-brown and trigonous with 2 flat surfaces and a curved one; endosperm white and homogeneous.
Varieties/Types
  • Salak Yogyakarta
  • Salak Bali
  • Salak Gula Pasir
Major Nutrition Iron, Fe 3.9 mg (48.75%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.2 mg (15.38%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 8.4 mg (9.33%)
Carbohydrate 12.1 g (9.31%)
Calcium, Ca 38 mg (3.80%)
Phosphorus, P 18 mg (2.57%)
Protein 0.8 g (1.60%)
Total Fat (lipid) 0.4 g (1.14%)
Total dietary Fiber 0.3 g (0.79%)
Health Benefits
  • Good for Pregnant Women
  • Cure Nearsightedness
  • Maintain Stamina
  • Promote Overall Body Health
  • Control Blood Sugar Level
  • Helps in Weight Loss
  • Memory Booster
  • Maintain Cardiovascular Health
  • Good for Stomach
  • Eye Medicine
Calories in (100 gm) 368 K cal