African Fan Palm, Borassus aethiopium
The African Fan Palm, Borassus aethiopium is an African palm of the Borassus genus. It has a numerous list of English terms for the plant including African palmyra palm, deleb palm, ron palm, toddy palm, black rhun palm, ronier palm (French term), and others. Its African names are even more numerous.
The tree offers many practical uses such as edible fruit, fiber from leaves, and termite-proof wood for construction. At least two varieties of this species exist, bagamojensis and sengalensis.
Single, enlarged trunks, 3 feet in diameter, hold the tree aloft up to 75 feet in height. Long, spiny green leaves reaching lengths of 9 feet, emerge from branches. It has spherical crownshafts 21 feet wide. In male plants, the flower is small and not easily noticeable, while female plants produce much larger flowers and a yellowish brown fruit. This fruit contains 3 seeds and looks comparable to the coconut.