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Useful Tropical Plants

Raphia regalis

Becc.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Raphia insignis Burret

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Raphia regalis is an evergreen palm. The plant forms a short stem up to 1 metre long, but this is mainly buried underground so that the plant appears stemless. The stem is topped by a rosette of a few, very long, more or less erect leaves that can exceed 20 metres in length and are said to be the largest leaves of any plant[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
,
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 is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
This highly distinctive palm, with no aerial trunk and with leaves rating amongst the largest in the plant kingdom, is likely under-recorded due to difficulties in collecting specimens of it, and in the fact that it has received limited taxonomic attention. Continuing decline is inferred because of extensive forest clearance for timber and for agricultural expansion in Nigeria and Bakossi. Selective felling for use in building and tapping of palm wine, mainly in Nigeria, poses a serious threat. The species may well be more threatened than the current lisiting indicates. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' 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 - Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, DR Congo, Angola.

Habitat

The sides and summits of wooded slopes in wet forest, often on ridges, where it may be gregarious; at elevations from 500 - 850 metres[
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.
]. Usually found on acid soils[
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 StatusVulnerable
Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height20.00 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

The stems are tapped for their sap, which is fermented to make an alcoholic drink[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The leaves have a wide range of uses - the leaflets being used for thatching and weaving whilst the midribs are used for construction, paddles, making furniture etc[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Propagation

Seed -

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