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Family Arecaceae
Corypha utan Lam.

Gao xing li ye ye zi

Scientific names  Common names
Corypha elata Roxb. Bagatai (Is.)
Corypha gebang Mart. Buli (Tag.)
Corypha gebanga (Blume) Blume Buri ( Bis., Bik., Pamp., Tag.)
Corypha griffithiana Becc. Busi (Pamp., Bis., Tag.)
Corypha macrophylla Roster Ibus (Tag.)
Corypha macropoda Kurz ex Linden Piet (Tag., Pamp.)
Corypha utan Lam. Silad (Bik.)
Gembanga rotundifolia Blume Silag (Ilk., Pang.)
Livistona vidalii Becc Silal (Sub.)
Taliera elata (Roxb.) Wall. Sirar (Bag.)
Taliera gembanga Bume                            [Illegitimate] Taktak (Is.)
Taliera sylvestris Blume                             [Illegitimate] Cabbage palm (Engl.)
  Gebang palm (Engl.)
  Buri palm (Engl.)
Corypha elata Roxb. is a synonym of Corypha utan Lam. The Plant List
Corypha utan Lam. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Gao xing li ye ye zi.
GERMAN: Buripalme.
INDONESIA: Gebang, Gewang, Lontar utan, Pucuk, Ibus, La buong.
MALAY: Gebang ibus.
MYANMAR: Loutar.
SPANISH: Gebang (as C.elata in El Salvador), Palma talipot (as C. elata in El Salvador).
THAI: Lan, Lan-phru.

Buri palm is the most stately and largest of the Philippine palms. Trunk is straight and erect, up to 1 meter in diameter and 20 meters in height. Leaves are large and fan-shaped, rounded in outline, up to 3 meters long, palmately split into about 100, lanceolate, 1.5 to 6 centimeters wide, segments extending one-half to two-thirds to the base; petioles are very stout, up to 3 meters long, 20 centimeters thick at the base, the margins armed with stout black spines. Inflorescence is pyramidal, up to 7 meters high, the lower branches up to 3.5 meters long, the upper gradually shorter, the ultimate branches about 1 meter long. Flowers are numerous, greenish-white, 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. Fruits are globose, fleshy, 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Seeds are hard, about 1.5 centimeters in diameter.

- Throughout the Philippines, in most islands and provinces, in some regions widely scattered, subgregarious in others and abundant at low and
medium altitudes.

- Also occurs in India to Malaya.

- Sucrose is the produce of the sugar cane.
- Trunk yields large quantities of starch.
- Leaf extract yielded the presence of sterols, saponins, glycosides, and tannins. (see study below) (4)

- Sugar is demulcent, antiseptic, cooling, laxative and diuretic.
- Roots are demulcent, emollient, diuretic and stimulant.

Parts utilized
Roots, leaves, stem.

- Trunk yields a large quantity of starch.
- An average tree yields 8010 cavans of fruits.
- Buds (ubod) used for salads or eaten as vegetable.
- Kernels of young fruits are edible and made into sweetmeats.
- It produces a fermented drink (tuba), alcohol, vinegar, syrup and sugar.
- An average tree yields up to 8 - 10 cavans of fruit. Fruit is a good source of starch.
- In the Philippines, not medicinally as useful as the coconut.
- Decoction of young plant used for febrile catarrh.
- In Iloilo, reportedly used for musculoskeletal and dermatologic conditions.
- In Zamboanga del Sur, stems used for treatment of over fatigue.
- In Malaya, starch used for bowel complaints and the juice of roots used for diarrhea.
- In Celebes, roots chewed for coughs.
- In Ayurveda, used for hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, gastritis, excessive sweating, skin disease.

- Ornaments: Mature seeds used for rosary beads and buttons.
- Fiber: Petiole yields the "buntal fiber," used in making the famous Baliuag and Lucban hats. Also, used for making rope. From the leaf is obtained a fiber, similar to raffia, used in making cloth, strings, and other fancy articles. Fiber from the ribs of unopened leaves used in making Calasiao or Pototan hats. Strips of unopened leaf used in making hats, mats, sails, baskets. (3)
- Leaf: Mature leaf used for covering tobacco bales; rarely, as thatch for houses; the ribs used for making brooms and weaving.

- Trunk wood: Trunk can be used as firewood or made into wood frames for making nipa huts. (3) Wood also used as firewood. Also, as a temporary aqueduct for irrigation.
- Starch / Fruit: Fruit of the buri tree is a cheap source of food and good source of starch. An average tree can yield up to 8-10 cavans of fruits. (9)

Antimicrobial Activity / Phytochemicals:
Leaf extract analysis yielded the presence of sterols, saponins, glycosides, and tannins. Antimicrobial evaluated showed a zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli. (4)
Antibacterial / Minimum Concentration: Study evaluated evaluated the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Corypha elata Roxb. leaf extract to three test organisms viz. E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa. In all concentrations of 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25%, a complete inhibitory activity (+++) and mild reactivity (2) to the test organisms. Even at lowest 25%, there was compete inhibition of growth. (10)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updted February 2017
Updated December 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Photograph / Corypha utan / File:Cory utan 070909 0263 rwg.jpg /W A Djatmiko / Uploaded by Wie146 / GFDL

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Corypha names
/ Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Overall view on the tradition of tapping palm trees and prospects for animal production / Christophe Dalibard / Livestock Research for Rural Development
Multipurpose use of buri (Corypha elata Roxb. or Corrypha utan) and its nutritive value / Queypo-Queddeng, M.; Puzon, J.; Rabena, A.R., University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City 2700 / Philippine Journal of Crop Science (Mar 2010)
Alternative Source of Herbal Medicine: Add-On to Buri (Corypha elata Roxb.) Leaf Industry / PETRONILA E. FLORENDO, SOLITA EVANGELINE S. BANEZ, MERCITA Q. QUEDDENG / International Journal of Science and Clinical Laboratory, Vol 4, No 1 (2013)
Survey on Ethnopharmacology of Medicinal Plants in Iloilo, Philippines / Rey G. Tantiado / International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology Vol. 4, No. 4, December, 2012
Medicinal Plants of the Subanens in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines
/ Lady Jane G. Morilla, Nanette Hope N. Sumaya, Henry I. Rivero and Ma. Reina Suzette B. Madamba / International Conference on Food, Biological and Medical Sciences (FBMS-2014) Jan. 28-29, 2014 Bangkok (Thailand) /
Corypha utan / Synonyms / The Plant List
Corypha utan / Useful Tropical Plants
Multipurpose use of buri (Corypha elata Roxb. or Corrypha utan) and its nutritive value [2010]
Queypo-Queddeng, M. Puzon, J. Rabena, A.R. / AGRIS
Minimum Concentration of Corypha elata Roxb. Leaf Extract to Three Bacteria / Petronila E. Florendo, Solita Evangeline S. Bañez, Mercita Q. Queddeng / International Journal of Science and Clinical Laboratory, Vol 8, No 1 (2015)

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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