Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Elaeis guineensis - African Oil Palm
Edible Portion: Seeds, Nuts, Cabbage, Fruit, Palm Heart, Sap, Vegetable, Seeds - Oil
An unbranched palm with a stout erect stem. The stem is rough due to the leaf bases which remain attached. It grows to 20-30 m tall. The trunk is about 75 cm across. The crown consists of about 40 open leaves. These hang downwards. The leaves develop from the bud as a tightly rolled shoot which later opens. The palm crown spreads 5-9 m across. Casual roots grow from the lower 1 m of the base of the trunk. Many roots also grow just under the soil and spread out for 20 m around the palm. The leaves are about 7.5 m long. The leaves have spines along the leaf stalk. These leaves are made up of many leaflets (100-160 pairs). These are slender, long and thin and rich green. These are held at different levels along the midrib (Almost two rows). The flowers are of one sex only. The male flowers occur with a spiny tip. The female flowers are on long stalks. They are 30-45 cm long. The fruit is a large round bunch of small fruits. These are 4 cm long by 2 cm across. There can be 200 fruit in a bunch.