Family • Arecaceae - Corypha elata Roxb. - BURI PALM - Gao xing li ye ye zi

Scientific names

Corypha elata Roxb.
Corypha umbraculifera Blanco
Corypha sylvestris Mart.
Corypha gebanga Blume
Corypha utan Lamk
Livistona vidalii Becc
Sagus rumphii Perr.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Gao xing li ye ye zi.
GERMAN: Buripalme.
INDONESIA: Gebang, Gewang, Lontar utan.
MALAY: Gebang ibus.
SPANISH: Gebang (as C.elata in El Salvador), Palma talipot (as C. elata in El Salvador).
THAI: Lan, Lan-phru.

Common names

Bagatai (Is.)
Buli (Tag.)
Buri ( Bis., Bik., Pamp., Tag.)
Busi (Pamp., Bis., Tag.)
Ibus (Tag.)
Piet (Tag., Pamp.)
Silad (Bik.)
Silag (Ilk., Pang.)
Silal (Sub.)
Sirar (Bag.)
Taktak (Is.)
Cabbage palm (Engl.)
Gebang palm (Engl.)
Buri palm (Engl.)

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.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) 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.

(2) Overall view on the tradition of tapping palm trees and prospects for animal production / Christophe Dalibard / Livestock Research for Rural Development

(3) 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)

(4) 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)

(5) 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

(6) 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) /

– 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.

– 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.
– 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.
– 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.

Study Findings
• 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.