Moriche Palm, Mauritia flexuosa, also known as the Buriti Palm, is a graceful fruit bearing palm-tree native to tropical South America, east of the Andes region. The Palm grows near permanently swampy areas; it can reach up to 35 metres in height and forms a large rounded crown. There are several varieties.
Mauritia flexuosa, leaves are large, palmate, deeply segmented and with petioles up to 6m long. The young leaves produce a very fine fibber, the “silk” Buriti, used by artists to create pieces of golden grass. Its fibber is transformed into crafts such as mats, towels, bags, and jewellery. Flowers are yellowish and appear during the rainy season. The inflorescence buds are eaten as a vegetable.
Moriche Palm Fruit
The Moriche Palm fruit grows during December to June is a chestnut colour and is covered with shiny scales. The yellow flesh covers a hard, oval, nut. Fruit is edible, has high vitamin C content, and used to make juice, jam, ice cream, and a fermented “wine”. Oil; Buriti oil, is extracted from the fruit. It is orange-reddish and high in vitamin A, frequently used to treat burns because of its soothing qualities. It has also high concentrations of oleic acid, Tocopherols and several carotenoids other than beta-carotene (vitamin A).
Moriche Palm Propagation Methods
Plant propagation is by seed. The seeds float, and this is the means by which the palm tree propagates in the wild. Moriche palm grows slowly and in cultivation can be mixed with many other tree and crop species as long as it is not under shade.
The tree should be planted in full sun, at least eight meters apart and kept free of weeds. In natural populations the tree reaches very high densities. It is an important tree for humans but also to many animal and bird species. Mauritia flexuosa is a member of the Arecaceae family the genus Mauritia.
Moriche Palm, Mauritia flexuosa, Buriti Palm
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