A genus of solitary or clump-forming palms, most of which are huge. The leaves are pinnate and include the longest leaves in the world. The inflorescences are either terminal, the stem then dying, or axillary, and form as sinuous, bract-enclosed cylinders, sometimes branching, with male and female flowers. The fruits are scaly. Palm wine is obtained by tapping the inflorescences of R. taedigera and R. vinifera. There are about 28 species found in Africa, and one (R. taedigera) in tropical America. See piassava and raffia.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.