a friend

Raffia Palm

Popular name: Raffia palm
Scientific name: Raphia farinifera

Palmeira-ráfia Inhotim
The raffia fiber is extracted from its thorny leaflets, very used in craftsmanship and dyes. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro. 
Palmeira-ráfia Inhotim
Born from an adult raffia, these young individuals of the species are nearly five years old. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro.

Of imposing size, the raffia palm has a solitary stem and the biggest leaves among palm trees, reaching up to 20 meters long. Its set of flowers blooms when the plant reaches 20 to 30 years old. After this event, it starts a senescence process – a slow death that might take up to a few years.

The raffia fiber is obtained from its leaves and used to make baskets, hats, mats, and dyes.

Palmeira-ráfia Inhotim
The slotted fruits of this African palm tree can produce cooking oil. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro.


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