- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
- Carnauba wax
Core, Earl L. Formerly, Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
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The product exuded from the leaves of the wax palm, Copernicia prunifera (alternatively C. cerifera), in the family Arecaceae (Palmae). The carnauba wax palm (see illustration) is a native tree of Brazil and other regions in tropical South America. The wax accumulates on the surface of the leaves; these leaves are cut from the trees and dried, whereupon the layer of wax becomes loose and is easily removed by flailing. Carnauba wax, which is also known as Brazil wax, is the hardest natural wax and melts at the highest temperature of any natural wax, having a melting point of 85°C (185°F). It is used for insulating purposes and in making candles, shoe polish, high-luster wax, varnishes, phonograph records, and surface coatings of automobiles. See also: Animal and vegetable wax; Arecales; Leaf
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