The most important palm of the country perhaps is the Raphia vinifera, which produces the piassava fibre of commerce.
Confronted Antiochus at Raphia and inflicted a defeat upon him which nullified all Antiochus's successes and compelled him to withdraw north of the Lebanon.
The legend of the roc, familiar to every one from the Arabian Nights, was widely spread in the East; and in later times the home of the monster was sought in the direction of Madagascar, whence gigantic fronds of the Raphia palm very like a quill in form appear to have been brought under the name of roc's feathers (see Yule's Marco Polo, bk.
The dense forests of West Africa contain, in addition to a great variety of dicotyledonous trees, two palms, the Elaeis guincensis (oil-palm) and Raphia vinifera (bamboo-palm), not found, generally speaking, in the savanna regions.
The chief trade is in, and the principal exports are, palm oil and kernels, rubber, cotton, maize, groundnuts (Arachis), shea-butter from the Bassia parkii (Sapotaceae), fibres of the Raphia vinifera, and the Sansevieria guineensis, indigo, and kola nuts, ebony and other valuable wood.