What is Borassus aethiopum
Borassus aethiopium Mart. is a major Borassus palm in Africa. In English it is variously referred to as African fan palm, African palmyra palm, deleb palm, ron palm, toddy palm, black rhun palm, ronier palm (from the French) and other names. It also has names in African languages. The tree has many uses: edible fruit, fibres from leaves, wood for construction (which is reputed to be termite-proof). There are at least two varieties of this species: var. bagamojensis and var. senegalensis. They grow swelling, solitary trunks to 25 meters in height and 1 m in diameter at the base. The green, 3 meter leaves are carried on 2 meter petioles which are armed with spines. The crownshaft is spherical to 7 m wide, the leaves are round with stiff leaflets, segmented a third or half-way to the petiole. In male plants the flower is small and inconspicuous; females grow larger, 2 cm flowers which produce yellow to brown fruit resembling the coconut containing up to 3 seeds.