Raphia vinifera

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Raphia (rahf-EE-ah)
vinifera (vihn-ih-FEHR-ah)
Ore, Ondo State, Nigeria. Photo by Jörn Germer.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Raphia (rahf-EE-ah)
vinifera (vihn-ih-FEHR-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
West African piassava palm; (En), Bamboo palm, raffia; (Fr). Bamboo palm, bamboo palm king.

Habitat and Distribution

It is particularly abundant along the creeks of Niger Delta, Cross
East Nigeria, Nigeria. Photo by Dr. P. Tuley, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
River, Lagos and Ikorodu in Nigeria. Raffia vinifera is present in wetlands and other moist places, especially on the banks of streams.


Wine palm is an, solitary palm tree with an unbranched, rather stout stem that can be 5 metres tall. It is topped by a crown of leaves that can be 10 metres or more long. palm of watery places, PARTICULARLY abundant on the edge of creeks; the stout trunk of moderate size, Attaining about 25 ft. in height, crowned by the wide arching fronds up to 40 ft. along with sturdy midribs Whose popular use as poles HAS Prompted the common name of Bamboo-palm.

Monoecious Palm, stocky trunk up to 5 m high. Leaves pinnate, arched, reaching 13 m long, sheathing at base; Smooth sleeve, splitting opposite the petiole; petiole grooved above, unarmed; chunky spine, without spines, orange to pale brown; leaflets linear, up to 150 cm long, folded once, bright and shiny green above, glaucous and relatively waxy below, edges and prickly stalks. Inflorescence axillary, drooping, up to 150 cm long, branched 2 orders; bracts and stalk bases ring ramifications; Partial inflorescences 30-60 cm long; rachilles in 4 rows, loose, slender, 10-15 cm long, arched, laterally compressed, tapering, with flowers in 2 rows. Unisexual flowers; male flowers at the apex of the branches of the inflorescence, female flowers at the base; male flowers arched, 8 mm long, bracteole sharply 2-keeled and enveloping calyx, chalice almost cutting, 3-lobed corolla about 3 times as long as calyx, dividing into 3 segments, slightly thickened in apex, stamens (6-) 9, inserted on the corolla, thick threads, free or connate on half of their length; female flowers outside bracteole slightly longer than calyx, calyx cup, 3 teeth, corolla of a third longer than the calyx, divided halfway into 3 segments sharp, staminoïdal ring welded to the corolla, 9 sterile anthers, ovary superior, 3-celled.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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