Buriti Tree

October 03, 2021
Buriti Tree Treasures of Brazil
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You may have noticed that we have a large variety of jewellery which is made with fibres and material from the Buriti Tree, but “what is a Buriti Tree?” (I hear you cry) well in this article I am going to aim to advise you of just that…



Where is it from?


A very special region of Brazil known as The Cerrado: a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Minas Gerais and the Federal District. The core areas of the Cerrado biome are the Brazilian highlands, the Planalto. The main habitat types of the Cerrado consist of forest savanna, wooded savanna, park savanna and gramineous-woody savanna. Savanna wetlands and gallery forests are also included.[2] The second largest of Brazil's major habitat types, after the Amazonian rainforest, the Cerrado accounts for a full 21 percent of the country's land area (extending marginally into Paraguay and Bolivia).[source: Wikipedia][3]


What other names does it go by?

This is a tree which isn’t commonly known in the UK, and it is actually pretty hard to find details of it on Google in the UK as a lot of the details around it are in Portuguese (native language of Brazil) however I have found some details of alternative names for this rather remarkable tree It seems that the tree’s full name is actually: Mauritia flexuosa; here is an article I have found on Palm Pedia and Wikipedia:


The buriti, also known as the moriche palm, is a large palm tree that grows in swamp regions of South America. Natives refer to it as the Life Tree. The buriti tree bears a sweet fruit with a brown, scaly exterior and yellow pulp. The pulp is extremely rich in essential fatty acids and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Buriti Fruit Oil is considered to be one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, with levels exceeding that of carrot seed oil. Brazilian natives treat the buriti tree as sacred because it contains the nutrients and support needed to sustain life. Natives use the oil to protect the skin and to treat a variety of skin conditions including burns and sunburn. [source: PalmPedia]

Naturist: Baron von Humboldt seemed to refer to it as “the tree of life” when he “discovered it” according this article: https://braziliansun.com/blogs/news/why-is-buriti-palm-the-tree-of-life



What is it used for?

From the research which I have done, it seems the question should not be what is it used for, but rather what is it not used for? The leaves for handicrafts, the pulp, called “wine” form sweet juices, and is highly appreciated in the region. The oil, as stated above, is considered to be one of the richest sources of beta-carotene and is quickly becoming one of the sort after ingredients in the beauty industry as a result. The seeds are used to produce buttons, semi-jewels and even jewellery (with silver or gold). 

Amerindians are experts at using resources from the rainforest. One example: the use of the “moriche” palm tree (Mauritia flexuosa) by the Warao Indians of the Orinoco Delta:

The palm leaves are used to cover roofs

The fruits are eatable

Fibres are used to make superb hammocks

Larvae from an insect develop inside a felled trunk are eaten too, they are delicious (when eaten raw they taste like butter)

Openings are made in the trunk on the ground. Rainwater accumulated in them ferments and produces an alcoholic beverage[source: Dr. Afonso Rabelo. Manaus, Amazonas.]

Buriti is helping to boost small local communities in Brazil by creating a new source of jobs, and ensuring that forests and trees are worth more standing than cut.

Gill Perkins

Twin Mum/
Eco Influencer/VA
Bedfordshire, UK

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