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Manicaria saccifera - Gaertn.

Common Name Ubussu, Troolie Palm
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 11-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swampy areas[314 ]. Lowland forest, generally in flooded areas and usually near the sea, though occasionally extending further inland and ascending to 1,200 metres[412 , 768 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; north to Trinidad; and through Central America to Guatemala.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Manicaria saccifera Ubussu, Troolie Palm

Manicaria saccifera Ubussu, Troolie Palm


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Commonly found in South America, Manicaria saccifera or commonly known as Ubussu is an evergreen, large, single-stemmed palm of up to 10 m tall and 15 - 20 cm stem diameter. It is used medicinally to treat asthma, cough, thrush, and diarrhea. Young leaves are cooked as a vegetable but has to be boiled for 15 minutes to destroy harmful glucosides. The roots are cooked as well; it has high carbohydrate content. The juice of the young fruit is also edible. The seeds yield edible oil. The starchy stems are source of sago. Other uses of the leaves are for thatch and sails. Fibers obtained from the inflorescence are used to make caps, bags, and mats.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Manicaria saccifera is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Manicaria atricha Burret Manicaria martiana Burret Manicaria plukenetii Griseb. & H.Wendl. Pilophora


Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Drink

An edible oil is obtained from the seeds[317 ]. The liquid endosperm of unripe fruits is drunk[317 , 768 ]. The fruit is 4 - 6cm in diameter[412 ]. Sago is obtained from the starchy stems[317 , 768 ].

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.
Antiasthmatic  Antidiarrhoeal  Antitussive  Diuretic

Several parts of the palm, including the apical bud, serve medicinal purposes[317 , 763 ]. A decoction of the root, combined with bamboo leaves and a decoction of Euterpe precatoria roots, is used to treat asthma and coughs[348 ]. The liquid from immature, green fruits is employed as a diuretic, and remedy for coughs, asthma and thrush[348 ]. It is also used to treat diarrhoea[348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Fibre  Thatching

Other Uses The leaves are utilized as thatch and sails[317 ]. This species produces the largest entire leaves of any known palm, and for this reason, as well as on account of their firm and rigid texture, they form the very best and most durable thatch[314 , 768 ]. The leaves are split down the midrib and the halves laid obliquely on the rafters, so that the furrows formed by the veins lie in a nearly vertical direction and serve as so many little gutters to carry off the water more rapidly[314 ]. A well-made thatch will last ten or twelve years, and an indigenous person will often take a week's voyage in order to get a canoe-load of the leaves to cover his house[314 ]. The fibres, obtained from the peduncular bracts of the inflorescences, are used for making caps, bags and mats[46 , 317 , 786 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the lowland, moist tropics. It cannot tolerate any frost[314 ]. Spacing: 8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m) 10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ubussu, Troolie Palm, Busso, Sleeve palm, Temiche palm, Jiquera, Ubi, Palmier toulouri, Yolillo, Troolie, Escomfra, Guagara, Truli, Temiche, Manaco, Silico,

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Trinidad and Tobago; Belize; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru; Brazil, Amazon, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, South America, Suriname, Venezuela, West Indies,

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 : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

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.


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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.

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