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Taxon: Elaeis guineensis Jacq.

Genus: Elaeis
Family: Arecaceae (alt.Palmae)
Subfamily: Arecoideae
Tribe: Cocoseae
Subtribe: Elaeidinae
Nomen number: 14936
Place of publication: Select. stirp. amer. hist. 280, t. 172. 1763
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 17-Mar-2010 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 19-Sep-2017
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
Accessions: 91 (10 active, 9 available) in National Plant Germplasm System


Common names:

  • African oil palm  (Source: World Econ Pl) - English
  • macaw-fat  (Source: Zander Ency) - English
  • oil palm  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • palmier à huile  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • palmier à huile d'Afrique  (Source: F NAmer) - French
  • afrikanische Ölpalme  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • Ölpalme  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • kelapa sawit  (Source: Pl Res SEAs) - Indonesian
  • kelapa sawit  (Source: Pl Res SEAs) - Malay
  • palmeira-andim  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • palmeira-do-azeite  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • palmeira-do-dendê  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • dendê  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • dendezeiro  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • palma africana  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • mchikichi  (Source: PROTA4U) - Swahili
  • oljepalm  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: ornamental
  • Fuels:
  • Human food: fruit; oil/fat; vegetable
  • Materials: fiber (used in soaps, lubricants, & plasticizer and stabilizer in plastics fide PROTA4U); lipids (used in soaps, lubricants, & plasticizer and stabilizer in plastics)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide Herbs Commerce ed2; PROTA4U)

Distributional Range:


    • EAST TROPICAL AFRICA: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
    • WEST-CENTRAL TROPICAL AFRICA: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Rwanda
    • WEST TROPICAL AFRICA: Benin, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    Cultivated (widely cult. in tropics)


    • WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN: Madagascar (natzd.?)

    • MALESIA: Indonesia, [Sumatera] Malaysia


  1. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  2. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  3. Dransfield, J. & H. Beentje The palms of Madagascar (Palms Madag)
  4. Duke, J. A. Handbook of Nuts (Handb Nuts)
  5. Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen (Zander Ency)
  6. Facciola, S. Cornucopia, a source book of edible plants (Cornucopia)
  7. FNA Editorial Committee Flora of North America. (F NAmer)
  8. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  9. Glassman, S. F. 1972. A revision of B. E. Dahlgren's Index of American palms Phanerog. Monogr. 6:1-294.
  10. Govaerts, R. & J. Dransfield World checklist of palms. (L Palms)
  11. Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  12. Hartley, C. W. S. 1988. The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), ed. 3 761 pp.
  13. Ithnin, M. et al. Elaeis (Wild Crop Rel Pl Orn) 6:113-124.
  14. Jones, D. L. Palms throughout the world (Palms World)
  15. Keay, R. W. J. Trees of Nigeria (Trees Nigeria)
  16. Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. (F WT Afr)
  17. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  18. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2 (Food Feed Crops US)
  19. McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  20. Moore, H. E., Jr. 1963. An annotated checklist of cultivated palms (Principes) 7:144.
  21. Opsomer, J. E. 1956. Les premières descriptions du palmier à huile (Elaeis guineensis) Bull. Séances Acad. Roy. Sci. Outre Mer 2:253.
  22. Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  23. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  24. Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants (Dict Rehm)
  25. Rehm, S. & G. Espig The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics (CultTropS)
  26. Smith, A. C. Flora vitiensis nova. (F Viti)
  27. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. (F TE Afr)
  28. Uhl, N. W. & J. Dransfield Genera palmarum: a classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore, Jr. (Gen Palm)
  29. Vossen, H. A. M. van der & B. E. Umali, eds. 2001. Vegetable oils and fats (Pl Res SEAs) 14:85-93.
  30. Westphal, E. & P. C. M. Jansen, eds. 1989. A selection (Pl Res SEAs) A:118.

Check other web resources for Elaeis guineensis Jacq. :

  • Flora of North America: Collaborative Floristic Effort of North American Botanists
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2019. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=14936. Accessed 19 May 2019.