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Medemia argun (argun palm)

The fruits of the argun palm were first discovered by archaeologists in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Argun palms in the Nubian Desert

Medemia argun (argun palm)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Medemia argun Wurttenb. ex H.Wendl.

Common name: 

argun palm

Conservation status: 

Critically Endangered according to IUCN criteria.


Desert oases.

Key Uses: 

The leaves are used for weaving.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Medemia

About this species

The argun palm (Medemia argun) was first discovered by archaeologists as fruits in the tombs of ancient Egypt. The discovery of Medemia as a living palm did not come until 1837, when it was found growing in the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan. Then, in 1859, these living specimens of Medemia argun were finally linked to the tomb fruits. The fruits are quite widely recorded in archaeological excavations in Egypt, suggesting that the palm was once more widespread.

The significance of the palm in ancient Egypt remains a mystery. Nowadays, there are only a few localities in which this palm is found, and in most cases the populations there consist of very few individuals.


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