One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The seed of a tropical American palm, which, when hardened, is a source of vegetable ivory.
The palm is Phytelephas macrocarpa, family PalmaeAlso called tagua nut
- ‘Conservation International is carrying out the Tagua Initiative project to promote sustainable harvest of the ivory nuts in rural communities in Esmeraldas Province as a means of protecting the forests in which this species occurs.’
- ‘Tagua nuts (or vegetable ivory nuts) are produced by a lovely Amazonian palm Phytelephas Aequatorialis meaning ‘elephant palm’.’
- ‘The hard, ivory-like seeds (exported under the name of Polynesian ivory nuts, Tahiti-nuts, Südsee-Steinnüsse) are used for the production of buttons.’
- ‘Vegetable ivory or ivory nuts are primarily the nuts of the Tagua palm tree although other palms of the same subfamily also produce ivory nuts.’
- ‘The trees produce a vegetable ivory nut or seed called Tagua nut, they grow in large armored clusters with each cluster containing many nuts.’
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