The Buri or locally known as buli is a tropical plant that has multiple uses of its parts.
Buli is one of the largest members of the Palm family which is native to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia and the Philippines.
It has fan-shaped leaves and a straight huge trunk which can reach up to 20 m in height. It can live for more than 30 years and will produce a large number of flowers and fruits before it dies.
Buli palm has a wide variety of uses. These are turned into a whole range of products, such as bags, fans, hats, baskets, mats, shoes, and other handicrafts.
In Bohol, the young leaf sheath or udlot can be harvested and processed to produce a raw material called binunos used to make the woven Saguran fabric. It can also be fermented to make tuba (local wine) and suka (vinegar). Its fruits can be eaten raw or boiled and processed into sweets or “minatamis na buli”.
The Palwa or base of the branch can be pounded and turned into a broom. Landang, the processed and cooked starch sourced from the buli’s trunk, is an ingredient used in Binignit, a favorite delicacy among Boholanos, especially in Holy Week.
The upper part of the trunk, ubod, or heart of palm can be deliciously eaten raw or made to a “lumpiang ubod”. Lastly, the leaf extract has medicinal uses – it can be used as anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and as a bathing remedy for spasm or “pasmo sa kusog.”
Conserving and caring for the useful Buri palm is important as it helps drive the economic sustainability of communities as well as maintain the ecological balance of our tropical forests.
Source: Text by NMP Bohol with contributions from John Rey Callado | NMP Zoology Division