We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Attalea maripa - (Aubl.) Mart.

Common Name Inaja, Maripa Palm
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry land forest and open areas[ 416 ]. Coastal swamps and lowlands[ 314 ]. Lowland wet forest and secondary forest derived from it, at elevations up to 500 metres[ 412 ]. Usually found in land not subject to seasonal inundation[ 419 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; Caribbean - Trinidad.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (5 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Attalea maripa Inaja, Maripa Palm

Attalea maripa Inaja, Maripa Palm


Translate this page:


Inaja or Maripa Palm (Attalea maripa) is a tall palm that grows up to 20 m tall with trunk diameter of up to 100 cm. It is native to South America and Trinidad and Tobago. The oil obtained from the kernel of the seeds has medicinal purposes. It is used through rubbing as relief from rheumatism. It can also be used in cooking. The large and brown or yellow fruit is edible and is used to make a drink. Endosperm of the seed is edible as well and often toasted. Further, the apical bud is eaten as vegetable. The pulp of the fruit yields oil for biodiesel production. Mature leaves are used for thatching while young leaves are used as weaving material. A. maripa can be used as a pioneer species due to its characteristics.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Attalea maripa is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Attalea cryptanthera Wess.Boer Attalea macropetala (Burret) Wess.Boer Attalea regia (Mart.) Wess.Boe

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment  Drink  Milk  Oil

Edible portion: Fruit, Kernel, Drink, Palm heart, Cabbage, Oil, Nut. Fruit - raw[ 416 ]. A succulent, aromatic, almost fibreless pulp with a sweet, pleasant flavour[ 416 ]. It is used to make a drink[ 317 ]. The fruit is up to 5cm long[ 416 ]. The mesocarp provides a 'milk' for drinking[ 200 ]. Seed - the endosperm is toasted[ 317 ]. An oil extracted from the seed is used for cooking[ 317 ]. The outer husk of the fruit makes a kind of salty flour used to flavour food. The apical bud is eaten as a vegetable[ 317 ]. Eating this bud will effectively kill the tree since it is unable to produce side shoots[ 317 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.

An oil obtained from the seeds is rubbed onto rheumatic areas of the body in order to bring relief[ 348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Beads  Containers  Oil  Pioneer  Thatching  Wood

Other uses rating: Very High (5/5). Agroforestry Uses: The plant shows pioneer characteristics[ 419 ]. It regenerates vigorously after being cut down and the dormant seeds germinate after forest fires or the clearing of forested areas[ 419 ]. These traits make it an excellent choice as a pioneer species for restoring native woodland and especially, when taking into account all the plant's uses, for establishing a woodland garden[ K ]. Other Uses The fruit is a rich source of oil[ 314 ]. It is currently being investigated for its suitability for biodiesel production[ 314 ]. The leaves are used for thatching[ 317 , 768 ]. The young leaves are made into mats and pack baskets[ 317 ]. They are used as a heavy-duty weaving material[ 200 ]. The woody bract is used as a container[ 200 ]. The seeds are used to make jewellery[ 757 ]. The wood is moderately heavy, hard, resistant, of low durability[ 419 ]. The whole trunks are used locally for rustic constructions such as stays, rafters and laths[ 419 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

A plant of the lowland, moist tropics. Plants are frost sensitive[ 314 ]. Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[ 314 ]. Plants are usually found in more open areas in the wild but also succeed in the dappled shade of the forest[ 419 ]. Found in a range of soils from sandy to clayey[ 419 ]. Plants have a moderate rate of growth[ 419 ]. Production: The palms start to flower in the tenth year. They can live for 200 years. It produces 2-6 fruiting clusters each year. The kernel is 66% oil. In Bolivia there are an average of 182-211 trees per hectare. Fruit yields are 2456-2624 kg per hectare.

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a nursery bed or individual containers[ 419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Inaja or Maripa Palm (Attalea maripa). Other Names: Curete, Huacava, Cusi, Incham, Kokerite, Anaja, Guichire, Kukarit, Inayuga, Cucurito, Cucurite Palm, Inayuga, Shapajilla, Koheri Palm.

Found In: Amazon, Andes, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, South America, Suriname, Trinidad Tobago, Trinidad, Venezuela.

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Attalea butyraceaWine PalmTree20.0 10-12 MLMHNDM405
Attalea colendaPalma real, ChivilaTree25.0 10-12 MLMHNM403
Attalea funiferaBahia Piassava, Conquilla Nut, Piassaba PalmTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNDM104
Attalea speciosaBabassu, American Oil Palm, Motacu, MotacuchiTree30.0 10-12 SLMHNM425

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Aubl.) Mart.

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

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 : Attalea maripa  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.