Strausbaugh, Perry D. Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The seed of the tagua palm (Phytelephas macrocarpa) of tropical America. Each drupelike fruit of the tagua palm (also known as the ivory-nut palm) contains six to nine bony seeds. The extremely hard endosperm of the seed is used as a substitute for ivory. Vegetable ivory can be carved and tooled to make buttons, chess pieces, knobs, inlays, and various ornamental articles. The hard, white seeds (coquilla nuts) of the Brazilian palm (Attalea funifera) are often used as a substitute for vegetable ivory when making the same or similar articles. See also: Arecales; Seed
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