Tagua Nuts (Vegetable Ivory) from Lee Valley Tools. Lee Valley offers high-quality woodworking tools (woodturning, wood finishing, sharpening, woodcarving), gardening tools and hardware to woodworkers, cabinetmakers and gardeners
Botanical Alternative to Elephant-Ivory - Phytelephas aequatorialis - Cultivated as a cash-crop and known as Ecuadorean-Ivory/Tagua-Palm. Given the trade-restrictions on Elephant-Ivory, Ivory-Palm endosperm is used as a substitute today, and traded as 'Vegetable-Ivory', Palm-Ivory, Corozo or Tagua. When dried out, it can be carved just like elephant-ivory; can be used for beads, buttons, figurines, jewelry, and can be dyed. More recently, palm-ivory has been used in production of bagpipes.
Tagua products are experiencing a comeback in an effort to protect endangered species such as elephants, whales and walruses that have been a source of animal ivory . In one year a tagua palm produces the same amount of "ivory" as one female elephant. The tagua nuts, however, are harvested by hand without harming the tree.