vegetable ivory

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vegetable ivory:

see taguatagua
, fruit of the ivory, or ivory-nut, palms (Phytelephas species), which flourish in tropical America from Paraguay to Panama. The female palms bear large woody, burrlike fruits, each containing several seeds about the size of hen's eggs in P. macrocarpa.
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Vegetable Ivory


a natural product obtained from the seeds of the South American palm Phytelephas makrocarpa. The tree’s large aggregate fruit contains numerous seeds, each one the size of a hen’s egg. Under the brown casing of the seed there is a white cornaceous endosperm. The endosperm, which is extremely hard, is used to imitate ivory in the manufacture of buttons and other small items. Ecuador is the world’s principal exporter of vegetable ivory, with annual exports reaching 20,000 tons.

vegetable ivory

[′vej·tə·bəl ‚īv·rē]
A material from the ivory nut, a seed of the palm Phytelephas macrocarpa, which grows in tropical America; the nut has a white color and fine texture and is used to make buttons and similar small articles.
References in periodicals archive ?
Also, vegetable ivory is being marketed based on presumably sustainable management practices to make it more attractive to the incresasingly large segment of ecologically conscientious consumers.
Products such as timber, fibre, fruit and vegetable ivory, could likely increase their market share under adequate management of the resources, the value chains and the market.
Vegetable ivory once played a major role on the world market, but was substituted by plastics.
The low prices for vegetable ivory on the world market are at least partly due to competition between different north-western South American countries.
The vegetable ivory industry: Surviving and doing well in Ecuador.