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Borassus aethiopum

SynonymsBorassus flabellifer L. var. aethiopum Warb., Borassus flabelliformis Murr., Lontarus domestica Gaertn.
Common namesborasusspalm, zembaba, deleib, chibangalala, kakoma, kambili, African fan palm, borassus palm, palmyra palm, ron palm, rônier, dubbi, giginya, ubiri, kankoma, mukulwani, mulala, katuugo, nyalango, rhun, sibo, mvumo, abgon-eye
Ecocrop code32427

DESCRIPTION: It is an unbranched palm growing up to 20 m tall, characterized by a crown up to 8 m wide. Trees over 25 years old have a swelling of the trunk at 12-15 m above the ground (at 2/3 of the height). The bark is pale grey in older palms and is more or less smooth. Leaves very large, fan shaped, bluish-green, 15-30, up to 3.5 m long. USE: The fruits have a large, fibrous pulp (around 500 g each) that smells strongly of therbenthine. They are consumed raw or cooked, preferably with rice. The kernels contain an albumen, which before ripening is sweet and refreshing. The immature seeds can be eaten and contain a sweet jelly that has a refreshing taste. The mature seeds can be buried in pits and allowed to germinate, and the shoots are said to be a delicacy. Fruit and leaves are used as fodder. The wood is used as firewood and charcoal. Oil can be extracted from the fruit. The palm is planted as an ornamental and as firebreak. It is appreciated because of its sap, tapped from flower spikes, which ferments to palm wine. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: African fan palm, borassus palm, palmyra palm, ron palm (English). FURTHER INF: Distributed in the Guineo-Congolian and Sudanian savannahs, It is abundant and characteristic in all types of savannah of the region, occurring at low altitudes along rivers and in coastal woodlands. It can tolerate high temperatures and will grow in areas with rainfall less than 500 mm/year if the groundwater table is high. It is often in dense stands. The palm can serve as an excellent firebreak, especially in the arid regions of West Africa, which are prone to wildfires. It is usually found in sandy, well-drained soils, but prefers alluvial soils near watercourses.
SOURCE: ICRAF Agroforestree Database