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Useful Tropical Plants

Hyphaene petersiana

Klotzsch ex Mart.

Arecaceae


This species is very similar to the closely related Hyphaene coriacea, and there is some debate about the exact taxonomic status of the two[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
]. Hyphaene coriacea differs mainly in the fruit being pear-shaped[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
]. The trees appear to be generally smaller and sucker more readily[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
].

+ Synonyms

Chamaeriphes benguelensis (Welw. ex H.Wendl.) Kuntze

Chamaeriphes ventricosa (J.Kirk) Kuntze

Hyphaene aurantiaca Dammer

Hyphaene benguelensis Welw. ex H.Wendl.

Hyphaene bussei Dammer

Hyphaene goetzei Dammer

Hyphaene multiformis plagiosperma Dammer ex Becc.

Hyphaene obovata Furtado

Hyphaene ovata Furtado

Hyphaene plagiocarpa Dammer

Hyphaene ventricosa J.Kirk

Common Name: Vegetable Ivory

Hyphaene petersiana
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Charles Godfray'
Image credit to Palmweb
Hyphaene petersiana Hyphaene petersiana Hyphaene petersiana Hyphaene petersiana Hyphaene petersiana Hyphaene petersiana

General Information

Vegetable ivory is usually a massive evergreen fan palm tree growing up to 25 metres tall[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
]. It normally grows on a solitary, unbranched stem, but does occasionally sucker and specimens with two stems are sometimes seen[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
]. The stem base is raised on a mass of fibrous roots, whilst the trunk is often swollen about 1 - 2 metres below the crown[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
]. The tree is topped by a crown of very large, gray-green leaves and produces a large, round fruit, with a hard white nut (from which comes the common name of vegetable ivory)[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
A true multi-purpose tree, it is used extensively by local people as a source of food and materials for making baskets and many other items[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
]. Products from the tree are often sold in local markets[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.

Range

Africa - eastern DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S. Africa.

Habitat

Lowland savannah[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
] .In dry sandy areas, often away from rivers[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
]. Along watercourses in tropical conditions; in East Africa it is often found inland on alkaline soils with a high water-table, elsewhere it is more common by the coast[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height25.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

The plant requires at least a sub-tropical climate, preferring climates that are hot and dry[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
]. They will probably tolerate areas of high rainfall so long as the soil is well drained[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
Established plants are very drought tolerant[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
].

Edible Uses

The sap is tapped and fermented into a wine[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
].
Unfortunately the sap collecting is often fatal to the tree, so the palm is now becoming rare around some of the more populated areas[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
].

The fibrous fruit is eaten raw[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
]. A sweet, porous layer of flesh lies under the glossy shell[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
]. The pulp can be fermented to make a wine[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
]. The fruit is about the size of a small apple[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

The apical bud is cooked and eaten[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
]. Unfortunately, this usually leads to the eventual death of the tree since it rarely suckers and is unable to form side branches[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Seeds - raw[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The germinating seeds are also eaten[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

The pulp from the fruit is used to treat stomach ache and to rid the body of intestinal worms[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Other Uses

The hard white nut is used for carving buttons and similar items[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
]. Used to make ornamental objects[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
].

The leaves are used for weaving mats, hats, fans etc, and for basket making[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
,
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

The leaves are used for thatch[
314
Title
Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.pacsoa.org.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains at least a little information on the majority of palm and cycad species, plus a wealth of photographs. A first class website.
,
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
,
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

A fibre from the leaf is made into rope[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
]. The fibre is also used for making the strings of musical instruments, whilst the leaves can be plaited to make very fine bracelets[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

The leaf petioles are used for hut construction, fencing[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The leaf petioles and the flower stalks are used as a fuel for cooking fires[
347
Title
Tropical Palms
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products No. 10
Author
Johnson D.V.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome
Year
2011
ISBN
978-92-5-106742-0
Description
A terse guide to some of the uses of palms. Also available for download from the web. (Search for "FAO Tropical Palms")
].

Propagation

Seed -

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