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Photo: Bart Wursten
Photo: Bart Wursten
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Borassus flabellifer L. var. aethiopum (Mart.) Warb.
Borassus palm (English)
Frequency: Very rare
Description: Large palm tree. Stems erect, up to 20 m,
with a distinct swelling above the middle. Leaves crowded on top of the stem, fan-shaped, blue-green up to 4 m including the petiole. Petiole armed with recurved thorns. Flowers in large branched sprays, unisexual on separate trees, female flowers larger than male. Fruit large, 12-18 cm in diameter, subspherical, orange-brown.
Notes: This species can be mistaken for H. coriacea but is a much stouter tree with larger leaves and fruits and mature trees have the distinctive swelling in the trunk. Seriously threatened by increased exploitation to brew a strong alcoholic drink from the sap. Mature trees are cut and killed for this purpose.
Derivation of specific name:
aethiopum: of "Ethiopia", a historic reference to all of Africa South of Libya and Egypt.
Habitat: In moist open woodland and riverine areas.
Altitude range: (metres)
Up to 700 m
Flowering time: Aug - Oct
Worldwide distribution: Throughout most of tropical Africa, just entering northern S Africa.
Growth form(s): Tree.
Red data list status: Critically Endangered
Insects (whose larvae eat this species):
Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 6 June 2007
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Other sources of information about Borassus aethiopum: Our websites: Flora of Mozambique
Borassus aethiopum Flora of Zambia
Borassus aethiopum External websites: African Plant Database
Borassus aethiopum Biodiversity Explorer
(Biodiversity of southern Africa):
Borassus aethiopum EOL
(Encyclopedia of Life):
Borassus aethiopum ePIC
(electronic Plant Information Center):
Borassus aethiopum Flora Zambesiaca
Borassus aethiopum Google
(Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for
Borassus aethiopum IPNI
(International Plant Names Index):
Borassus aethiopum JSTOR Plant Science
Borassus aethiopum Kew Herbarium catalogue
Borassus aethiopum Kew Monocotyledon checklist
Borassus aethiopum Tropicos
Borassus aethiopum West African Plants database
Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings, 2002-13
Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T. & Ballings, P.
Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Borassus aethiopum.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=111950, retrieved 6 December 2013
Site software last modified: 13 October 2013 5:45am (GMT +2)