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Useful Tropical Plants

Raphia vinifera

P.Beauv.

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Metroxylon viniferum (P.Beauv.) Spreng.

Raphia diasticha Burret

Sagus raphia Poir.

Sagus vinifera (P.Beauv.) Pers.

Common Name: Wine Palm

Raphia vinifera
Cultivated plant in Flamingo Gardens, Davie, Florida, USA.
Photograph by: scott.zona
Creative Commons License
Raphia vinifera Raphia vinifera

General Information

Wine palm is an evergreen, single-stemmed palm tree with an unbranched, rather stout stem that can be 5 metres tall. It is topped by a crown of leaves that can be 10 metres or more long[
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.
].
A multipurpose tree that is very important for the local population, supplying food, fibres and building materials. The fibres are exported to many other countries. The plant is cultivated in Nigeria, Cameroon, India, and Singapore[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Tropical west Africa - Ghana to DR Congo.

Habitat

Borders of rivers[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Swamps and creeks[
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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height6.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

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 oil, extracted from the mesocarp of the fruits by cooking, is used as food (raphia butter)[
431
Title
The Orchid Review Vol. 117, No. 1287
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society; Wisley.
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
An article on the culinary uses of the orchid Jumellea fragrans.
,
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 kernels of the fruits are eaten roasted[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The fruit is edible, but somewhat bitter[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The terminal bud of the palm is eaten as palm cabbage[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

An intoxicating beverage called Bourdon is obtained by tapping the trunk and fermenting the sap obtained[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The sweet sap is extracted by removing the immature inflorescence and collecting the sap that runs out of the portion of cut stem remaining on the tree. In contrast to Raphia hookeri, the sap is not much used for wine making[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The sap is also concentrated to make a sweet syrup[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. When the stems are harvested to be used as poles, they are allowed to lie on the ground for several days whilst the sap was drained. The drink obtained by this method is less sweet and more alcoholic that the drink obtained from the genuine wine palm (Elaeis spp)[
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.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The leaves are mainly exploited as a source of fibres (piassava, raffia, Lagos-bast, African bast)[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Hats, clothes and cordage are traditionally made from the leaves[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves are considered as one of the best local thatching materials, being more durable than other materials[
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.
]. Bound with lines, they are used as a thatching material[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The vascular bundle fibres, obtained from the leaf sheaths, are made into brooms and brushes[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The fibres are about 90 - 120cm long[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The bast fibres serve the weaving of mats, baskets, belts, hammocks, fishing lines, and as tying material, used in the horticulture[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The oil, extracted from the mesocarp of the fruits by cooking, is used as food (raphia butter) or utilized as fuel oil, lubricant, or pomade[
327
Title
Euphorbiaceae of Malesia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/euphorbs/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource that is still being developed, it gives detailed botanical descriptions of plants in the family Euphorbiaceae found growing in Malesia (the region from Peninsual Malaysia through Indonesia, the Philippines).
].

The leaf stems are about 2 metres long[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. They are used as a building material in a similar manner to bamboo for making the framework of native dwellings[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The mid-ribs are stout but light. They have a wide range of uses including as poles, paddles, material for house building, furniture making etc[
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.
]. When split, they provide material for weaving floor mats[
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 main stems of the plant are used as house posts[
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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