Mauritius hemp

Mauritius hemp
a tropical American plant, Furcraea foetida, having large, fleshy leaves, cultivated as a source of a hemplike fiber. Also called cabuya.

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(species Furcraea gigantea),Portuguese  Piteira,  French  Aloe,  
 plant of the family agave (Agavaceae), and its fibre, belonging to the leaf fibre (q.v.) group. Despite its name, it is not a true hemp.

      Although the plant is native to Brazil, commercial production of the fibre did not begin there until about 1875. The plant was introduced to Mauritius in the late 18th century. Fibre from the highland is referred to as “aloe malgache,” and from the lower areas as “aloe creole.” Cultivation was established in East Africa, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and St. Helena late in the 19th century.

      The plant has lance-shaped leaves growing directly from the short plant stalk to form a dense rosette. The gray-green leaves are 4 to 7 feet (1.2 to 2.1 m) long and about 8 inches (20 cm) across the widest portion. In some varieties they are edged with thorns. The flower stalk, which appears near the end of the plant's life span, some 8 to 10 years after planting, grows up to 40 feet (12.2 m) and bears white flowers about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long.

      Mauritius hemp, which is cultivated mainly on large plantations, produces leaves suitable for harvest within 3 to 4 years after planting and each 18 to 36 months thereafter, yielding about 25–30 leaves at each harvest. Fibre is usually obtained by machine decortication, a scraping process that is sometimes preceded by several days of retting. Processing is completed by washing and drying, and the fibre is sometimes brushed, which adds softness and lustre.

      Careful processing of the fibre strands, about 4 to 7 feet long, yields creamy-white fibre with fair lustre. Mauritius hemp is not as strong as the leaf fibres sisal and henequen but is softer and finer. It has an affinity for dyestuffs and is fairly resistant to deterioration in fresh water but is subject to damage in salt water. The fibre is made into bagging and other coarse fabrics and is sometimes mixed with other fibres to improve colour in rope.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mauritius hemp — noun also mauritius ( es) Usage: usually capitalized M : a hard fiber obtained from the leaves of the giant cabuya and used chiefly for cordage and sacking; especially : this fiber as grown on the island of Mauritius * * * a tropical American… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mauritius-hemp — didysis agavūnas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agavinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, pluoštinis augalas (Furcraea foetida), paplitęs Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Furcraea foetida angl. giant cabuya; green aloe; Mauritius hemp vok.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Mauritian hemp — Mauritian hemp, 1. a plant of the amaryllis family grown in Mauritius, that yields a tough fiber used to make heavy cord and coarse cloth. 2. the fibers of this plant …   Useful english dictionary

  • Furcraea — Taxobox name = Furcraea image width = 240px image caption = Furcraea foetida in Hawaii regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Liliopsida ordo = Asparagales familia = Agavaceae genus = Furcraea genus authority = Vent. subdivision ranks …   Wikipedia

  • Фуркрея — ? Фуркрея …   Википедия

  • Fíque — Furcraea Furcraea foetida Systematik Abteilung: Bedecktsamer (Magnoliophyta) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mauritiushanf — Furcraea Furcraea foetida Systematik Abteilung: Bedecktsamer (Magnoliophyta) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • FURCRAEA GIGANTEA VENT. - МАВРИКИЙСКАЯ КОНОПЛЯ — см. 198. Многолетнее растение. F. gigantea Vent. Маврикийская конопля in Bull. Soc. Philom. I (1793) 65. Некрасова (1938) 50. Standley, Steiermark (1952) 130, f. S у n. Agave foetida L.; Aloe foetida Cr.; Funium piliferum Willemet; Fourcroya… …   Справочник растений

  • Furcraea foetida — Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • cabuya — /keuh booh yeuh/; Sp. /kah vooh yah/, n., pl. cabuyas / yeuhz/; Sp. / yahs/. See Mauritius hemp. [ < Sp < Taino] * * * …   Universalium