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Useful Tropical Plants

Ravenea robustior

Jum. & H.Perrier

Arecaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Ravenea robustior
Plants growing in native habitat
Photograph by: John Dransfield
Image credit to Palmweb
Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior Ravenea robustior

General Information

Ravenea robustior is a large, single-stemmed, evergreen palm tree growing 12 - 30 metres tall. The unbranched stem can be 20 - 60cm in diameter with a bulbous base, it is topped by a crown of 11 - 25 large leaves each up to 4 metres long on a petiole up to 135cm long[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Ravenea robustior is an important source of food (with high nutritional value) and other useful plant parts for the local population[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is reported as being cultivated in Madagascar but no further details are known[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In view of the increasing scarcity of this palm and its long life cycle, it is important to extend planting activities[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The plant is also a specialty ornamental.[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
This species is not common despite the wide distribution range, about 1,000 individuals are estimated for the whole population. The population is declining. Threats include habitat loss through clearance for shifting agriculture, logging and mining; plus there is ongoing harvesting of the plants for the edible palm-heart and for the trunks which are used in construction. The plant is classified as 'Near Threatened' 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

455
Title
Flore de Madagascar et des Comores
Publication
 
Author
Humbert H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle; Paris
Year
1946 - 1984
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, an excellent flora of the area though it has not been completed. Available for download from the Internet.

Range

Africa - northern and eastern Madagascar.

Habitat

Moist forest in valley bottoms, on medium or steep slopes, near water or near hill crests, at elevations from sea-level up to 1,000 metres, occasionally to 2,000 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusNear Threatened
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height23.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details



A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
455
Title
Flore de Madagascar et des Comores
Publication
 
Author
Humbert H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle; Paris
Year
1946 - 1984
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, an excellent flora of the area though it has not been completed. Available for download from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

The young terminal bud (palm heart) of Ravenea robustior is eaten as a vegetable, but some consider it too bitter[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
763
Title
Heart of Palm Use: A Family Survey
Publication
 
Author
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Website
http://www.virtualherbarium.org/palmresearch/Hearts_of_Palm_table.html
Publisher
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line article listing the botanical names and range of palm trees that have an edible apical bud.
]. The palms are said to be large enough to feed a whole village[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The apical bud, often known as a 'palm heart', is eaten as a vegetable[
763
Title
Heart of Palm Use: A Family Survey
Publication
 
Author
Scott Zona, Ph.D.
Website
http://www.virtualherbarium.org/palmresearch/Hearts_of_Palm_table.html
Publisher
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line article listing the botanical names and range of palm trees that have an edible apical bud.
]. Eating this bud leads to the death of the tree because it is unable to make side shoots[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

It is reported that the 'pith', the central soft part of the trunk, can be eaten as wel[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

In former days salt was extracted from the ash of the trunk pith.

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

Young leaves are used for making brooms, and fully developed leaves are used for thatching[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The wood is extremely hard on the outside, due to many black fibres. The heartwood is soft and white[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The outer wood is used for making floorboards, tables, house walls; it is said to be termite resistant[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Seeds, collected from the wild, are offered on the international market for ornamental purposes. The seeds do not seem to be recalcitrant. There are about 1700 seeds per kg and germination takes 1–3 months[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

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