Babassu Palm

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Babassu Palm (Wikipedia)
Orbignya phalerata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Arecoideae
Tribe: Cocoseae
Subtribe: Attaleinae
Genus: Attalea
Species: A. speciosa
Binomial name
Attalea speciosa

Orbignya phalerata
Orbignya martiana Barb.Rodr.
Orbygnia speciosa (Mart. ex Spreng.) Barb.Rodr.

Attalea speciosa (babassu, babassu palm, babaçu, cusi) is a palm native to the Amazon Rainforest region in South America. The babassu palm is the predominant species in the Maranhão Babaçu forests of Maranhão and Piauí states.

Babassu palms in Brazil

This plant has commercial value because its seeds produce an edible oil called babassu oil, which is also used in cleaners and skin care products. The fruit is used to produce products such as medicines, beauty aids, and beverages. Traditional communities of the Maranhão region also produce a flour from the fruit and this is commercialized as a nutritional supplement. The leaves are also used to provide thatch for houses and can be woven into mats for constructing house walls. The stems are used for timbers. The Babassu palm is considered a weed in pasture areas of Cerrado vegetation in Brazil.

Its fruits and leaves are one of the main materials used by the artisans of Tocantins (Brazil) to manufacture different products [clarification needed] very popular with tourists.[citation needed]

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