Phytelephas sp., Ivory-nut Palm, Tagua Palm

Phytelephas sp.

Ivory-nut Palm, Tagua Palm
Family: Arecaceae / Palmae
Origin: South America
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunRegular waterEdible plantPalm or palm-like plantEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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Phytelephas grows under large rain forest trees along streams and on wet hillsides. Large pinnate leaves up to 20 feet tall arise from a woody trunk that is often leaning or growing from a longer horizontal trunk above the moist ground. Female palms bear clusters of large, brown fruits, the size of grapefruits or melons. Each fruit is studded with numerous woody, pointed horns and contains four or more large seeds. The content of the immature fruit is a tasteless crystalline liquid. When it starts to ripen this turns into a sweet and pleasant milky substance, transforming later to a gelatinous viscous consistency and finally becoming an extraordinarily hard product similar in color, appearance and feel to natural ivory. When dried out, it can be carved just like elephant ivory; it is often used for beads, buttons, figurines and jewelry, and can be dyed.

Phytelephas sp., Ivory-nut Palm, Tagua Palm. Tagua Nut
Tagua Nut
Phytelephas sp., Ivory-nut Palm, Tagua Palm
Phytelephas sp., Ivory-nut Palm, Tagua Palm. Tagua Nut leis
Tagua Nut leis

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