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Moriche Palm
Palma canangucha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Mauritia
Species: M. flexuosa
Binomial name
Mauritia flexuosa
L.f.

The Moriche Palm, Mauritia flexuosa, also known as the Ité Palm, Ita, Buriti, or aguaje (Peru), is a palm tree. It grows in and near swamps and other wet areas in tropical South America.

It is an elegant tree which can reach up to 35 metres in height. The large leaves form a rounded crown. The flowers are yellowish, and appear from December to April. The fruit, which grows from December to June, is a chestnut colour and is covered with shiny scales. The yellow flesh covers a hard, oval, nut. The seeds float, and this is the means by which the palm tree propagates. In natural populations the tree reaches very high densities. [1]

The Moriche Palm fruit is edible, has a high vitamin C content, and used to make juice, jam, ice cream, and a fermented "wine". An oil high in vitamin A is extracted from the pulp and is frequently used to treat burns because of its soothing qualities. The inflorescence buds are eaten as a vegetable, and the sap can be drunk fresh or fermented (see palm wine). Threads and cords are locally produced from the tree's fibers.

Buriti oil is an orange-reddish oil extracted from the fruit of the Moriche palm. The oil contains high concentrations of oleic acid, tocopherols and carotenoids, especially β-carotene. Recently it has been found to filter and absorb cancer-causing UV rays from the sun. [2]

This tree is important to many animal species, several bird species, such as the Red-bellied Macaw, Sulphury Flycatcher and Moriche Oriole, use it for nesting and food. Many ungulates, fish and monkeys depend on the fruit [3]

References

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Mauritia flexuosa

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Arecales
Familia: Arecaceae
Subfamilia: Calamoideae
Tribus: Lepidocaryeae
Genus: Mauritia
Species: Mauritia flexuosa

Name

Mauritia flexuosa L.f.

References

  • Supplementum Plantarum Systematis Vegetabilium Editionis Decimae Tertiae, Generum Plantarum Editiones Sextae, et Specierum Plantarum Editionis Secundae. Editum a Carolo a Linné. Brunsvigae [Braunschweig] 454. 1782 ("1781")
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Buriti-Palme
English: Moriche Palm
Français: Aguaje
Nederlands: Morichepalm
Português: Buriti
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Mauritia flexuosa on Wikimedia Commons.

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