Botanist's Glossary

Buriti - Mauritia flexuosa

  • Description
    • The buriti palm (Arecaceae family) is a tree native to the Amazonian forest. This majestic palm tree only grows in regions where there is plenty of water and sunshine. It can reach a height of 30 to 40 meters and produce eight inflorescences (flower clusters) per year, each of which bears 900 fruits. At present, these fruits are collected from a natural environment, but this palm tree is currently being adapted to cultivation in Peru.
  • Traditions
    • In the heart of Brazil, in the Cerrado region, the word "Buri-ti", in the language of the natives, means "tree of life" - a name chosen because each part of the tree is useful to man. The trunk is used as a building material, the palms are used for crafts, and the fruits are eaten. For the Indians of this region, buriti was seen as having an almost sacred character because of its many properties, and particularly for its red oil, used to treat burns and to help the skin heal.
  • Properties
    • From the fruit of the Buriti palm, an organic oil, which has the color of the sun, is extracted. This oil contains a very high concentration of antioxidant beta-carotenes. Not only does it give a healthy glow, it also protects the skin against photo-aging and dehydration in the sun.