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a stiff fiber from the leaf sheaths of several species of tropical palm, including the American Leopoldinia piassaba, the African Raphia vinifera, and the Asian Borassus flabellifer. The fibers, which are formed by the vascular bundles, are 0.5-3.5 mm thick and 0.5-1.8 m long. They range in color from straw to almost black. The fibers result from the natural maceration of the sheaths of fallen leaves. Piassava is used for making brushes, mats, and ropes.