The oil palms seem to have originated in widely separated parts of the world. E. guineensis is W. African. The American oil palm, Corozo (formerly Elaeis) oleifera, grows in southern C. and northern S. America and in the Amazon basin.
Other palms which yield edible oils include the coconut. In addition, the raffia palms, of which there are various species in the African tropics and a few in S. America, yield oil. The most important is the Madagascar raffia palm, Raphia farinifera (better known as a source of the raffia used by gardeners for tying up plants, and for having the largest leaves in the world—up to 20 m/65' long). The pointed, oval fruits, which may be sweet or bitter, yield an oil known as raffia butter.