The Buri Palm and its Crafts

Buri is the most common palm found in the country, Philippines. The scientific name of this plant is Corypha Elata Roxb. The Buri plant lives approximately up to more than 30 years. It grows all over the country at low and medium altitudes.


The two recognized varieties of Buri are the red or “limbahan/linbahon” and the white or the “lupisan.” These two are distinguished by the color of their petioles.


The buds of Buri are eaten raw in salads or cooked. The kernels of the fresh fruits are prepared into sweets. The trunk of the Buri tree contains a high quality of starch even through its growing stage. The starch is obtained when the Buri tree dies.


The sap of Buri is one of the sources of the fermented drink locally known as the tuba. The fresh sweet sap is a great source of beverage and can be produced into cider if fermented. The fermentation takes place around 32 hours after the sap has been collected.


Because of its different uses, Buri can be placed next to coconut and Nipa in commercial and industrial value. The leaf is the most significant part of the Buri palm. The petiole produces the so-called “buntal” fiber of which many crafts are made such hats, bags, and even ornaments. The coarser fibers of young buds are spun to make ropes while the mature leaves are made for covering tobacco bales, while the ribs are utilized for making brooms.


The raffia fiber, taken from the unopened leaf, is utilized in making hats, mats, cloth, and bags. This fiber is removed from the outer portion of the petiole. The removal must be done on unopened and round leaves shortly after the leaves are separated from the palm.


The midribs of the young leaves are commonly used as raw supplies for lawn furniture. Apart from this, midribs are woven into hats and even cigarette cases. The stiffness of the midribs defines the quality of the material.