What is Tagua?
The Tagua nut grows from the Ecuadorian Ivory Palm, Phytelephas aequatorialis, or literally, “plant elephant,” and is commonly referred to as “vegetable ivory.” The medium-sized palm, reaching up to 60 feet tall, grows quickly and easily in shady, humid places hidden below larger trees. Tagua grows from regenerative pods, which emerge from the palms’ trunks. The pods are removed from the palm and the seeds are left to dry in the sun. The drying process for tagua, acai and pambil is weather dependent. In the dry season, the process lasts a few days to a week. During the rainy season it can take months for the seeds to dry to the point at which they can be used by the artisans to create tagua jewelry.