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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia all have a considerable international trade in palm products, and although exact figures are lacking, it is clear, that the two main products are palm heart (palmito) and vegetable ivory (tayua).
In Peru, the price fetched by the primary producer of the unprocessed vegetable ivory nuts is only 1.6% of its export price (FOB) and 0.1% of the price for nuts sold on the German retail market.
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.
Tagua or vegetable ivory. A forest product of Ecuador.