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Elaeis


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(oil palm; family Arecaceae)

A genus of stout, solitary palms which have persistent leaf-bases, and a crown of numerous, large, pinnate leaves. They are monoecious. There are dense, axillary, separate male and female inflorescences. The fruits have an oily, fleshy-fibrous mesocarp and a stony endocarp (stone) with 3 apical pores, containing 1 seed, which has an oily endosperm. There are 2 species, 1 found in Africa, and 1 in northern S. America. The former, E. guineensis, is now cultivated extensively as one of the world's major sources of vegetable oil.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.


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