The chief trade is in, and the principal exports are, palm oil and kernels, rubber, cotton, maize, groundnuts (Arachis), shea-butter from the Bassia parkii (Sapotaceae), fibres of the Raphia vinifera, and the Sansevieria guineensis, indigo, and kola nuts, ebony and other valuable wood.
The most important palm of the country perhaps is the Raphia vinifera, which produces the piassava fibre of commerce.
The best known and longest cultivated species is the old-world grape-vine, Vitis vinifera; a variety of this, silvestris, occurs wild in the Mediterranean region, spreading eastwards towards the Caucasus and northwards into southern Germany, and may be regarded as the parent of the cultivated vine.
The dense forests of West Africa contain, in addition to a great variety of dicotyledonous trees, two palms, the Elaeis guincensis (oil-palm) and Raphia vinifera (bamboo-palm), not found, generally speaking, in the savanna regions.
Most of the world 's vineyards are planted with European vinifera vines that have been grafted onto North American species rootstock.