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Tropical Palms As Emergency Foods - Buri Palm (Corypha)

B uri Palm -   Source: Source: Original Art - Owner: Jerilee Wei
Buri Palm - Source: Source: Original Art - Owner: Jerilee Wei

Buri Palm (Corypha)

This huge fan-leaved palm is only found in tropical Asia. It is primarily found in:

  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • New Guinea
  • Australia (northeastern)

The leaves alone can be as big as nine feet in diameter. The edible part of this palm is found in the pithy portion of trunk in the form of starch. However, due to the fact that the outer shell is thick and hard, it is difficult to obtain.

The good news is that the sap is sugary and the buds are edible.  Other uses for the Buri palm, is in its leaves and leaf stem fibers, which have in past years been used for making cord, fishing line, and rope. It is also used in making:

  • Attache cases
  • Bags
  • Decorative pillows
  • Hats
  • Screen dividers
  • Slippers
  • Table accessories
  • Wall paper
  • Window blinds 


A Warning and a Few Thoughts!

First A Warning! -- The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. Be sure you have properly identified a wild edible plant BEFORE you consume it. Remember that some palms, like the Sago palm have look-a-likes, that are poisonous.  Additionally, you can be allergic to some edible plants, just like you can be allergic to foods that others can consume safely. If you at all unsure, just eat a little at first.

Bottom line -- you are 100% responsible for proper plant identification, and thoroughly researching the plant you are considering eating.  Finally -- I'm not advocating you kill a palm tree just to experience eating one. I'm much more interested in opening closed food minds, into being knowledgeable about foods that aren't generally found on the shelves of our generic American grocery stores. Also, remember in terms of a plant being edible, that doesn't always translate to a plant tasting good.