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Useful Tropical Plants

Raphia palma-pinus

(Gaertn.) Hutch.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Raphia gaertneri G.Mann & H.Wendl.

Raphia gracilis Becc.

Sagus palma-pinus Gaertn.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Raphia palma-pinus is an evergreen palm. It is often heavily harvested for its leaves, but when not cut too destructively it can produce a stem 2 - 3 metres or more tall. The stem is topped by a rosette of more or less erect leaves that can each be up to 9 metres long[
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.
,
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
]. The plant suckers at the base, forming thickets of some size and density[
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
].
The tree is widely harvested as a commercial source of piassava fibre, and also as a source of materials for its wide range of local uses.
The species is widespread in western Africa however, it is widely exploited and its habitat is also threatened by many activities, including loss of wetlands for crop farming and drought. The level of harvesting is increasing and the population is believed to be decreasing (at an unknown rate). More information is needed on the population decline and impacts of threats before the species can be fully assessed, it may be Near Threatened or Least Concern. The plant is classified as 'Data Deficient' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

West tropical Africa - Senegal to Gambia, Cameroon, Congo, northern Angola.

Habitat

Wet swamps, either fresh or slightly brackish, near the coast. Often behind mangrove swamps[
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
]. Lowland swamp and riparian palm, often associated with shady conditions and extremely high rain fall[
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

Conservation StatusData Deficient
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



A monocarpic plant - growing for several 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.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The frond and petiole are used as a medicine to treat blood disorders[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Other Uses

The plant is a commercial source of piassava, the base of the petiole for a length of 100cm being retted and split to form hard fibres[
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
].

The mid-ribs of the leaves are used to make poles and are made into household furnishings such as chairs and beds[
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
].

The fronds are used extensively as thatch[
970
Title
The Raphia Palms of West Africa
Publication
Kew Bulletin Vol. 19 No. 2
Author
Russell T.A.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Year
1965
ISBN
 
Description
Describing the six known species of Raphia found in west Africa and their uses.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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