pattra ［貝多羅］ (; baitara): A leaf; specifically a tree leaf used for writing upon. In ancient India, the leaves of the tāla tree were usually used for this purpose. The tree called tāla in Sanskrit is now known as the palmyra palm. It grows to more than twenty meters tall, and its leaves are large and leathery. They were dried and cut into rectangles of uniform size, about thirty to sixty centimeters long and six centimeters wide. Text was inscribed on both sides with a bamboo or iron stylus. The leaves were then pierced with holes, bound with string, and secured between wooden boards. In Buddhist countries where this tree grew, such as India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, Buddhist scriptures were preserved and transmitted this way. Today they are referred to as palm-leaf scriptures. See also tāla tree.