Raphia comprises about 20 species, mostly African, predominantly found in swampy areas. One species, Raphia taedigera, is found in tropical America.
Raphia species have monocarpic stems, i.e. they flower and fruit only once, followed by death.
Raphia laurentii is a palm with a stout trunk up to 6 m tall, occurring in the Central African Republic, DR Congo and Angola. Its leaves are used for thatching. It is also recorded to yield piassava and raphia fibre. The tree is tapped for palm wine. The fruit pulp yields about 38% oil, which is used in food and as a protective and disinfectant skin ointment in traditional medicine. The main fatty acids in the oil are palmitic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid.(PROTA)
Raphia regalis is a massive, stemless or almost stemless palm with leaves up to 25 m long, the largest leaves known in the plant kingdom. It occurrs in upland forest in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and Cabinda (Angola). The leaves are used for thatching and mat making, and provide pulp for paper making. The palm is tapped for palm wine. In Gabon unspecified plant parts are used against fever and worms. Raphia regalis is classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red list, due to its fragmented occurrence and decline of its habitat.(PROTA)
Raphia sese is a palm with a trunk up to 11 m tall and up to 50 cm in diameter, occurring in Congo and DR Congo. The leaves are used for thatching, and the rachis is made into furniture, mats and arrows. Sap from the stem is fermented into palm wine. The fruit pulp yields 44% oil, which is used like that of Raphia laurentii in food and as a protective and disinfectant skin ointment in traditional medicine. The main fatty acids in the oil are palmitic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid.(PROTA)
The following 13 pages are in this category, out of 13 total.