Global invasive species database

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  • Elaeis guineensis (Photo: Jim Space, PIER)
  • Elaeis guineensis fruits (Photo: Hugh Wilson, TAMU Herbarium, Texas A&M University)
  • Elaeis guineensis (Photo: Kurt St�ber s Online Library)
Common name
palmeira-dendê (Portuguese, Brazil), nu tamara (English, Cook Islands, (Mangaia)), apwiraiasi (English, Pohnpei), African oil palm (English), palmier à huile d'Afrique (French), dendê (Portuguese, Brazil)
Elaeis melanococca , J. Gaertn.
Similar species
Elaeis guineensis is native to the west African coast from Liberia to Angola. It has been introduced to many islands in the Pacific and to South America at the time of slavery. It is widely cultivated for the oil products obtained from its fruit and seed. However it is now showing potential of being invasive from cultivation in some dry areas of the Pacific and has become very invasive in remnants of Atlantic Forest in Bahia state, Northeast Brazil.
Species Description
\"Trunk stout, solitary, covered by the persistent leaf-bases above, bare below, dark gray-brown and ringed. Leaves large, pinnate, the lower segments as spines on the petiole margin; segments many, irregularly divergent, somewhat fascicled in 4's or 5's; inflorescence large, headlike, with spinose tipped branches borne close to the trunk, among the leaves\" (Stone, 1970. In PIER, 2003).
Lifecycle Stages
First fruits 3-4 years after planting in the field. Bunches ripen 5-6 months after pollination. Seeds normally require temperatures in excess of 35 degrees to germinate. (Duke, 1983)
Cultivated for oil from the fruits - palm oil and palm kernal oil. The oils are used variously in manufacturing and foodstuff production.E. guineenesis is also often used as a source of Vitamin's A and B in developing countries (Duke, 1983)
Habitat Description
In its native range it occurs wild in riverine forests or in freshwater swamps (Duke, 1983). It cannot thrive in primeval forests and does not regenerate in high secondary forests. Prefers volcanic soils, coastal alluvials and acidic sands (Duke, 1983).
Seeds, (PIER, 2003).
The African oil palm requires fertile and well drained soils (León, 2000).
Sometimes grown as an ornamental, as in southern Florida. (Duke, 1983)Introduced and cultivated throughout the tropics. (Duke, 1983)

Principal source: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk, (PIER)

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Jean Maley Dept. Pal�oenvironnements & Palynologie Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (CNRS) Universit� de Montpellier-2, Montpellier, France
Dr. Andreas Ebert Coordinator, Plant Genetic Reso

Publication date: 2006-01-26

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Elaeis guineensis. Downloaded from on 22-10-2016.

Management Info
Physical. The trees are cut down, (PIER, 2003). The palm however, resprouts after cutting, so there has to be complementary chemical control (Ziller, S., pers.comm., 2004).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Elaeis guineensis
Informations on Elaeis guineensis has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Elaeis guineensis in information
Arrival date
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Red List assessed species 0:
Management information
Physical. The trees are cut down, (PIER, 2003). The palm however, resprouts after cutting, so there has to be complementary chemical control (Ziller, S., pers.comm., 2004).
Management Category
12 references found for Elaeis guineensis

Managment information
PIER (Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk), 2003. Elaeis guineenesis
Summary: Ecology, synonyms, common names, distributions (Pacific as well as global), management and impact information.
Available from: [Accessed 2 June 2003]
General information
Barthelat, F. 2005. Note sur les esp�ces exotiques envahissantes � Mayotte. Direction de l�Agriculture et de la For�t. 30p
Summary: Tableau synth�tique des plantes exotiques de Mayotte class�es en fonction de leur niveau d envahissement.
Centre des ressources biologiques. Plantes tropicales. INRA-CIRAD. 2007.
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 31 March 2008]
Duke, James A. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. Unpublished. Purdue University newCROP.
Summary: General information about E. guineensis and its uses, cultivation and ecology.
Available from: [Accessed 2 July 2003].
Florence J., Chevillotte H., Ollier C. & Meyer J.-Y. 2007. Elaeis guineensis Base de donn�es botaniques Nadeaud de l Herbier de la Polyn�sie fran�aise (PAP).
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 1 April 2008]
Fournet, J. 2002. Flore illustr�e des phan�rogames de guadeloupe et de Martinique. CIRAD-Gondwana editions.
Hartley, C.W.S. 1988. The oil palm. by , 3nd Edit., Longman sc. & techn., John Wiley and Sons London.
Summary: Description, habitat, distribution and botanical information.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Elaeis guineensis
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: [Accessed December 31 2004]
Le�n, Jorge, 2000. Bot�nica de los cultivos tropicales. San Jos�, Costa Rica, IICA, 2000. 522 p; ISBN 92-9039-395 5
Summary: Description, habitat, distribution and botanical information.
MacKee, H.S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultiv�es en Nouvelle-Cal�donie, 2nd edn. MNHN, Paris.
Summary: Cet ouvrage liste 1412 taxons (esp�ces, sous esp�ces et vari�t�s) introduits en Nouvelle-Cal�donie. L auteur pr�cise dans la majorit� des cas si l esp�ce est cultiv�e ou naturalis�e.
World Wildlife Fund, WWF. Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic (AT0712).
Summary: Information on the Northern Congolian Forest Savanna Mosaic.
Available from: [Accessed 2 July 2003].
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Elaeis guineensis
Geographic region: Pacific, Indian Ocean
Ecosystem: Terrestrial
Expert in the botany of French Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, and has worked on ecology and biological control of Miconia calvescens in French Polynesia.
D�l�gation � la Recherche
D�l�gation � la Recherche, Gouvernement de Polyn�sie fran�aise. B.P. 20981, 98713 Papeete, Tahiti, Polyn�sie fran�aise
689 47 25 60