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The seed of any of various tropical American palms of the genus Phytelephas, having a hard white endosperm that is the source of vegetable ivory, used for carving and manufacturing buttons. Also called tagua nut.
nFormer name (1871–1932): vegetable ivory
1. (Plants) the seed of the ivory palm, which contains an ivory-like substance used to make buttons, etc
2. (Plants) any similar seed from other palms
the seed of a low South American palm, Phytelephas macrocarpa, yielding vegetable ivory.
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|Noun||1.||ivory nut - nutlike seed of a South American palm; the hard white shell takes a high polish and is used for e.g. buttons|
ivory palm, ivory plant, ivory-nut palm, Phytelephas macrocarpa - a stemless palm tree of Brazil and Peru bearing ivory nuts
seed - a small hard fruit