Raphia palma-pinus - (Gaertn.) Hutch.
Common Name Thatch palm
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Wet swamps, either fresh or slightly brackish, near the coast. Often behind mangrove swamps[970 ]. Lowland swamp and riparian palm, often associated with shady conditions and extremely high rain fall[328 ].
Range West tropical Africa - Senegal to Gambia, Cameroon, Congo, northern Angola.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Raphia palma-pinus or Thatch palm is a tropical palm about 2-3m tall that develops suckers and forms clump. The fronds are yellowish-green and not shiny. Edible parts are the fruit, seeds, sap, and palm heart. It is known for other names such as Apel, Batata, Befen, Dahare, Dara, Darre, Mambampa-tara, Tara, and Tarra.

Raphia palma-pinus Thatch palm

Raphia palma-pinus Thatch palm
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Raphia palma-pinus is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Sagus palma-pinus Gaertn. Raphia gaertneri G.Mann & H.Wendl. Raphia gracilis Becc.

Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The frond and petiole are used as a medicine to treat blood disorders[338 ].


Other Uses
Other Uses: The plant is a commercial source of piassava, the base of the petiole for a length of 100cm being retted and split to form hard fibres[970 ]. The mid-ribs of the leaves are used to make poles and are made into household furnishings such as chairs and beds[970 ]. The fronds are used extensively as thatch[970 ].
Cultivation details
A monocarpic plant - growing for several years without flowering, then producing a massive inflorescence and dying after setting seed[200 ].
Seed -
Other Names
Apel, Batata, Befen, Dahare, Dara, Darre, Mambampa-tara, Tara, Tarra,
Found In
Benin; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Senegal; Sierra Leone, Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, Senegal, West Africa,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Data Deficient
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Raphia fariniferaRaffia Palm30
Raphia hookeriIvory Coast Raffia Palm32


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
(Gaertn.) Hutch.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
Readers comment
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Raphia palma-pinus  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.