Native to Java, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Andaman Archipelago, Burma and Thailand, this multi-ringed palm belongs to the genus Caryota, Greek for 'nut', alluding to its fruit. The epithet mitis means 'thornless' or 'soft' in Latin.
Fast-growing, this multicaule palm usually has slender stems, and each time one of its trunks flowers, it dies, with new ones appearing in its place. Its bipinnate leaves have a characteristic shape, with a serrated and truncated apex, as if they had been broken.
In its area of origin, its leaves are used to make a paste used as a cauterising agent, and it is one of the plants from which sago flour is obtained (as in some cycads). From its flowers, toddy or palm wine is also extracted, from which sugar and eau-de-vie can be obtained.