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Abaca Plant (Musa textilis) - Manila Hemp

The Versatile Abaca Plant

The Abaca plant

belongs to the family of the banana plant (Musaceae family) and is indigenous to the Philippines. The banana plant and the abaca plant has a striking similarity in looks but the main difference is that the fruit of the abaca plant is inedible. Its fibre is known as the Manila Hemp. Abaca is not a hemp but since hemp was the main source of fibres for centuries, the abaca fibre was named Manila hemp. Abaca has been cultivated in the Philippines since the 1500s and became known worldwide in the 1800s mainly used as ropes in ship rigging.

The abaca plant grows up to twenty feet when mature. About 2 to 4 times a year the trunk is cut down above the roots to harvest the fibres. New sprouts will grow from the roots soon after cutting. Leaf sheaths are then stripped and pulp is scrapped off to get the abaca fibre strands. To make ropes, the strands are twisted together. These strands are mainly composed of cellulose, pectin and lignin.

Superior qualities of abaca fibre:

-Extremely strong and durable
-Resistant to salt water
-Can be made into many hard-wearing products
-Relatively cheap to produce
-Has a beautiful texture when made into hats and other products
-Biodegradable and eco-friendly

Products made from abaca fibre / Manila hemp:

Rope, abaca paper abaca rug, abaca furniture, abaca dye mat, abaca carpet, manila envelope and countless other products.

 

Other Herbal & Non-Herbal Medicine: Philippine Plants, Fruits & Trees

Abaca Plant | Avocado | Atis Fruit | Banana Plant | Barako Coffee | Coconut Palm Tree | Durian Fruit | Guyabano Fruit | Mango Tree | Mangosteen | Papaya Fruit | Pineapple | Rubber Tree | Tomato Nutrition Fact | Tuba-Tuba Plant - Jatropha

Key to Nutritional Healing | Philippine Medicinal Plants List

 

 

   

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