Fruit bearing palm trees

Fruit bearing palm trees

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Fruit bearing palm trees (Dypsis), some of which are found in tropical regions. Photo by: ©

In the last few years, interest in the history and biology of palms has been burgeoning. More than 500 new palm species are being described, and more than 30 new palm genera have been proposed in the last 50 years. Palms have now been recognized as an important component of tropical rain forest ecosystems. And they have also become a significant part of our lives as a result of their ability to adapt to many different environmental conditions and to be useful for our daily life.

What makes the palms such an attractive subject is the fascinating nature of their evolution. Palms are flowering plants, but they are not plants that bear seeds. As is the case with most flowering plants, they have spores as male and female gametophytes in their gametophyte (male or female) generations. These are enclosed in a structure called an archegonium. The archegonium is composed of cells that differentiate into two different structures, an antheridium and an archegonium tube, in which the antheridium is produced. The archegonium tube is the male and the antheridium is the female in the fertilization process.

Because they bear neither fruit nor seeds, palms are not considered as a useful part of the food chain, and are consequently rarely eaten. They are mainly used for food and ornament. For centuries, the majority of the world’s food supply has come from land plants such as grains and pulses that could be consumed. Palms are not suitable for use as food because they do not store and transport fats, so they are not useful for humans to eat. The oil palm, for example, is the largest oil-producing plant in the world and its leaves are widely used for various kinds of oil. However, since palms have no seeds, they do not produce the fats that humans and animals need. Therefore, oil palms are unsuitable for consumption, as palm oil is the edible oil that has the most adverse impact on our health.

There are many different types of palm, but they have the same basic characteristics. The types of palms that are the most common include rubber and oil palm. The rubber palm has no fruits and seeds and can only be used to produce rubber, whereas the oil palm has fruits and seeds and is used to produce oil.

Cultivation and Harvesting

The oil palm produces seedless fruits that contain oil. Oil from the palm’s seeds is used as a source of oil that people eat. As its name suggests, oil from the seeds of the oil palm is actually the main oil consumed in human diets.

The fruits of the oil palm start growing in mid-October to late November, and the harvest usually begins on the tenth day of December, and continues until the end of February. The harvesting process usually takes between seven and eight days, but the length of the harvest can vary according to the season, the number of days of rain, and the size of the farm. If there is sufficient rain, the process of obtaining oil can take less time.

Harvesting process

After they have been harvested, the fruits are transported from the farm to the processing centers and then to the various markets, where the harvested oil palm fruits are processed. The oil palm oil is extracted by the process of pressing the palms.

This process begins by removing the leaves from the oil palm and then making small cuts, which are called slits, into the fleshy part of the palm. The palm oil is then squeezed from the palm, which uses a pith (a thin wall of tissue surrounding the heart), so that the pith is not damaged. This process is similar to wringing out a towel. The palm oil can also be extracted with a pump, or a machine with blades that push the oil out from the palm. The process of extracting the oil takes between ten and fourteen days.

During the process of removing the oil from the palm, waste material from the fruit is formed. This material is used as fertilizers or compost for the agricultural crops.

Types of oil palm

The oil palm is one of the most cultivated trees in the world, as well as the one that produces the most amount of oil, which is usually used as a substitute for olive oil and palm oil. Each year, more than 3 million tons of oil are produced from oil palm.

There are four types of oil palm that produce different amounts of oil. The first type is the African oil palm, which has the greatest amount of oil, and the second type is the African oil palm, which has a more uniform kernel. The Asian oil palm and the Brazilian oil palm have less oil, but have good yield.

The oil palm trees are planted from seedlings that are three to five months old. The oil palm trees are then usually one to two years old.

During the first year of growth, the oil palm trees are cultivated using conventional farming methods, including fertilizers and pesticides. During this period of growth, the oil palm trees can be planted in groups of 5 to 10 trees in each plot.

The oil palm trees are left untended, and naturally thinned after harvesting the fruit. The oil palm trees can reach a height of 60 to 90 meters with a diameter of 30 to 50 meters, but most oil palm trees are 15 to 25 meters tall and 40 to 50 meters in diameter.

The trees are allowed to grow during the rainy season until they produce fruit. The fruit should be harvested after two years of growth, and is usually sold fresh or dried. The oil palm fruits should not be damaged by a knife or other tool while they are harvested, and the palm oil should be harvested from the fruit.


In 2006, the world production of palm oil was 1.5 million tons per year. In 2000, African oil palm production was 1.8 million tons. In comparison to Asian oil palm production, production in the Americas and Europe is insignificant. The United States of America has the most production of oil palm.

Nutritional value

Palm oil contains fatty acids, and has high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids. The oil is about 80% fat by weight, and contains about 90% saturated fatty acids, 5% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 4% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The oil can be divided into three types: African oil palm, Asian oil palm, and Brazilian oil palm. African oil palm contains a high amount of palmitic acid (about 35%) and stearic acid (about 20%). The oil from Brazilian oil palm is the highest in oleic acid (about 25%), and the lowest in palmitic acid (about 12%). American oil palm oil has more palmitic acid (about 35%) and less oleic acid (about 22%). Palm oil is primarily used in tropical countries for cooking or frying. It is less suitable for salad dressing, as the oil is incompatible with dairy products.

Environmental concerns

In the tropics, oil palm is considered a non-native species that is not particularly useful to the environment. Plantation operators in some countries consider using herbicides on oil palms, with some herbicides causing harm to the surrounding environment. In the Brazilian states of Bahia and Espírito Santo, for example, herbicides known as "inactive," meaning that they are not toxic to humans, are widely used to kill weed plants on the plantations. Although they are supposed to target a few weeds, they also kill native plants, many of which are economically important to local people. This type of herb