African Raffia :beautiful seeds from palm tree

Vegetable ivory is the white dried endosperm of some palm seeds.

One of them is called Tagua nut or Corosso and is from the palm tree called Phytelephas Macrocarpa or Ecuatorialis that grows only in the amazonian rainforest(Brazil,Peru and Panama).
In Micronesia and South Pacific, another type of ivory palm grows: Metroxylon Amicorum,the Caroline
Ivory nut palm.

Hyphaene Ventricosa is the palm tree that provides another source of vegetable ivory in Africa.
Hyphaene Ventricosa,Itala Palm or Vegetable Ivory:
Striking large palm reaching about 15m to 20 m in height,stem is un-branched and bears a large crown of fan shaped leaves: fruits are born in cluster on female trees and are round,brown balls,slightly larger than a golf ball:the tree is usually set back from the water’s edge or in proximity to subterranean water.

the nuts of this palm have a sweet and juicy outer pulp which reminds some consumers of Palm nut is the big beige and brown seedgingerbread,leading to the common name of gingerbread palm.
Many traditionally carved products in Africa & South America are made with nuts from ivory palm,because they are a renewable resource.
In Africa,carvers who have traditionally worked with ivory of elephant origin have turned to the ivory palm to create beautiful traditional craft while preserving their elephant populations.

The seeds that i use in my jewelry are from Raffia farinifera palm tree native from
East Africa.The pericarp of the fruit is ovoid with colored mahogany with glazed nested shells.
The fruit itself looks like a pine cone and i’m sure it will make a beautiful natural holiday decoration.

7 thoughts on “African Raffia :beautiful seeds from palm tree

  1. How cool that there is a nut that can be used as an ivory substitute. I love the natural patterns on its surface. And I’m curious about the gingerbread taste. I would love to try one sometime! Thank you for sharing this info.

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