The Oil palm is a big tropical palm tree. It is grown for the fruits which are used to produce palm oil.
Oil palm originates from west Africa where it was already used over 5000 years ago.
African oil palm
Palma africana de aceite
Éléis de Guinée
Palmier à huile d’Afrique
Palma da olio
Basic information and facts
Oil palm originates from West and Southwest Africa. The scientific name refers to Guinea.
Oil palm can be found in tropical countries with a warm humid climate. An important oil palm producer is Malaysia.
Evergreen or deciduous:
Flowers are small and grow in dense clusters.
Leaves of the oil palm are pinnate, and can be 3 to 5 meters long.
Oil palm fruits grow in dense clusters and take 5 yo 6 months to reach maturity. Individual fruits have the size of a large plum. Fruits have a reddish color and contain a single seed surrounded by a fleshy outer layer. Both the seed and outer layer are rich in oil. A single bunch of fruits can have a weight of 40 or 50 kg.
Climate and weather:
Grows in a hot and humid tropical climate.
The palm trees can be over 20 meters tall.
Grown from seeds.
Bunches of ripe fruits are cut of with special tools.
The pulp of the fruit is used to extract palm oil, which is an edible oil. The kernels are used to produce palm kernel oil, which is used in food and to make soap.
Proverbs and Quotes
- A palm tree growing in the shade will not bear ripe fruit.
Did you know that?
- A serious negative effect of oil palm cultivation is that large areas of tropical rain forests are cleared and turned into large oil palm plantations. This leads to loss of biodiversity and extinction of plant and animal species.