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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
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Attalea maripa Inaja, Maripa Palm


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Attalea maripa Inaja, Maripa Palm
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Summary

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.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 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: acid, neutral and basic (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

Synonyms

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

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: 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 ].

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 ].

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Other Uses

Oil

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 ].

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.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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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

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

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Attalea butyraceaWine Palm40
Attalea colendaPalma real, Chivila40
Attalea funiferaBahia Piassava, Conquilla Nut, Piassaba Palm10
Attalea speciosaBabassu, American Oil Palm, Motacu, Motacuchi42

 

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(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.

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