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Useful Tropical Plants

Raphia australis

Oberm. & Strey

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Raphia australis
A natural stand of Raphia australis in a wet valley close to Bobola, Southern Mozambique. Characteristic is the enormous terminal inflorescence.
Photograph by: Ton Rulkens
Creative Commons License
Raphia australis Raphia australis Raphia australis

General Information

Raphia australis is a stout, solitary stemmed, evergreen palm producing a central stem around 10 metres long. The stem is topped by a tight rosette of large, erect leaves that can be up to 18 metres long. The plants usually have pneumatophores (breathing roots) like mangroves, which is an adaptation for swampy ground[
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.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

East Africa - southern Mozambique, South Africa.

Habitat

Swampy places[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateMedium
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


The plant likes full sun, and bad drainage. Given these conditions, it can be very fast growing, one of the fastest of all palms[
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 monocarpic plant - growing for 20 - 40 years without flowering, then producing a massive inflorescence and dying after setting seed[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
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.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The vast petioles and midribs are used to make outriggers for canoes[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. They have been for various purposes, including to make rafts, market stalls, bus shelters etc[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

The seeds are used as good, if bulky, ornaments[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Propagation

Seed - fresh seed grows easily once the outer scales have been removed. Seedlings need filtered sunlight, plentiful water and protection from wind[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

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