What Tree Has the Biggest Leaves?

raffia palm
Ton Rulkens/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Have you ever wondered which trees have the world's biggest leaves? If you think about it, you could probably make an educated guess that it would be one of the palm trees, which is correct. These tropical dwellers often have long arching leaves.

The specific palm trees sporting the world's biggest leaves belong to the Raphia genus, with the crown going to Raphia regalis, which is native to some African countries.

Each leaf may be up to 80 feet long and 10 feet wide... taller than many trees!

Raffia fibers are collected from the leaves on these trees. They can be used in grafting as a tie that is natural and will gradually fall off the branch instead of being a permanent fixture that can girdle the plant. Raffia is also used for crafts including Cameroonian Juju Hats.