Raphia australis (Kosi palm)
Kosi-palm [Afrikaans]; umvuma [Zulu]
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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
> Monocotyledons > Order: Arecales > Family:
Arecaceae > Genus: Raphia
Trees have among the longest leaves of any plant in the world, measuring up to
10 m long. The apical, erect inflorescence is also huge, up to 3 m high.
Distribution and habitat
Northern KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique.
Gypohierax angolensis (Palmnut vulture) - this
species has become specialised in eating the thin, fleshy, sweet
layer round the kernal of the fruit of this species. It also
usually nests in these palm trees.
Uses by humans
- Leaves are used for thatching roofs.
- The thick, long petioles (midribs of leaves) are used in the
construction of huts, fences and rafts.
- Palgrave, K.C. and Palgrave, M.C. 2002. Trees of Southern Africa. 3rd
Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
- Palmer, E. and Pitman, N. 1972. Trees of Southern Africa covering all
known indigenous species in the Republic of South Africa, South-West Africa,
Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Volume 1. A.A. Balkema, Cape
- van Wyk, B. and van Wyk, P. 1997. Field Guide to Trees of Southern
Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.