Astrocaryum G.Mey., Prim. Fl. Esseq. : 265 (1818)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)

About 36 accepted species distributed from Mexico southwards to Brazil and Bolivia; absent from the West Indies except Trinidad. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Discussion

Diagnosis

Biology And Ecology

Etymology

Uses

Description

  • Moderate to robust, solitary or clustered, sometimes acaulescent, spiny, pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem very short to tall, often slender, obscured by leaf bases, or becoming bare and conspicuously ringed with leaf scars, often armed with fierce spines pointing in several directions, sometimes losing spines with age. Leaves few to numerous, regularly or irregularly pinnate, neatly abscising or marcesent; sheath splitting opposite the petiole, usually fiercely armed with large and small spines, and frequently bearing abundant indumentum; petiole very short to long, adaxially channelled near the base, distally ± flattened or angled, abaxially rounded, bearing abundant spines of varying length and dense indumentum; rachis usually much longer than the petiole, adaxially ± angled, abaxially rounded, usually densely armed and tomentose like the petiole; leaflets numerous and single-fold (or rarely few and composed of many folds), regularly arranged or grouped, and usually fanned within the groups, the whole leaf then appearing plumose, sometimes ± secondarily plicate, linear, acute, usually dark green and shiny adaxially, abaxially almost always with abundant white indumentum, the leaflet margins often conspicuously armed with short spines or bristles; transverse veinlets conspicuous or obscure. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, erect at first, becoming pendulous, ?protandrous, branching to 1 order; peduncle usually elongate, ± circular in cross-section, often heavily armed with spines, sometimes with spines confined only to the area just below the bract insertion, the surface frequently densely covered in indumentum; prophyll ±membranous, tubular, 2-keeled, unarmed (?always), ±included within the leaf sheaths, soon tattering; peduncular bract much exceeding the prophyll, tubular, beaked, enclosing the rachillae in bud, splitting longitudinally along the abaxial face, arched over the rachillae, persistent or eroding, usually densely tomentose and heavily armed with spines, rarely unarmed; rachis shorter than the peduncle (often very much so) often armed as the peduncle, bearing numerous spirally arranged, crowded rachillae, each subtended by a narrow triangular bract; rachillae complex, elongate, with or without an armed or unarmed basal bare portion above which bearing a single triad or 2–5 distant triads, with or without a slender bare portion distal to the triads, distal to which the rachillae appearing cylindrical, catkin-like and bearing densely packed staminate flowers in pairs or singly, immersed in pits; rachilla bracts ± acute, forming lower lip of pits, floral bracteoles very small, sometimes partially connate with rachilla bract; after anthesis, staminate portions of the rachillae eroding away, in those species with solitary triads, the fruit then borne in a close-packed ‘spike’ or head, in those with several triads the fruit more loosely arranged. Staminate flowers small, ± symmetrical; sepals 3, very small, ± triangular, ?sometimes basally connate; petals 3, much exceeding the sepals, valvate, boat-shaped, connate basally and adnate to the receptacle; stamens (3–)6(–12, fide Wessels Boer 1965), filaments epipetalous, short, inflexed in bud, anthers ± rectangular or linear, dorsifixed, versatile, latrorse; pistillode present and trifid or absent. Pollen ellipsoidal, or oblate-triangular, usually with slight asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus or trichotomosulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate-psilate or coarsely perforate, perforations closely or widely spaced or, perforate and micro-channelled and rugulate, aperture margin may be slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 41–78 µm [11/36]. Pistillate flower very much larger than the staminate; calyx urn-shaped or cup-shaped, truncate or shallowly 3-lobed, sometimes bearing numerous short spicules, usually densely tomentose; corolla not, briefly, or considerably exceeding, and similar to the calyx, or composed of 3 imbricate triangular lobes, connate basally; staminodes 6, epipetalous near the base of the corolla, connate into a low membranous ring or tooth-like; gynoecium varied in shape, trilocular, triovulate, the 3 large fleshy erect, or head-like, reflexed stigmas borne on a beak, protruding through the mouth of the corolla tube, sometimes bearing short spines and/or tomentum, ovule ?orthotropous, laterally attached. Fruit 1(–2)-seeded with apical stigmatic remains, beaked, spherical, top-shaped, prismatic, or ovoid, often brightly coloured, brown, yellowish or orange-red, calyx and corolla persistent, enlarged and irregularly splitting; epicarp spiny or unarmed, tomentose or glabrous, mesocarp relatively thin, fleshy or dry and starchy, and fibrous, sometimes with the epicarp irregularly splitting and spreading to expose the endocarp, endocarp thick, stony, with numerous flattened, black longitudinal fibres on the surface, conspicuously radiating from the 3 subterminal pores. Seed irregularly globular, basally attached, hilum circular, raphe branches anastomosing, endosperm homogeneous, usually hollow; embryo subapical, opposite one of the endocarp pores. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid, usually bristly. Cytology: 2n = 30. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Fossil record

  • Fruits from the Middle Oligocene of Puerto Rico, Palmocarpon cetera, are compared with Cocos and Astrocaryum, although there is insufficient detail to make a very satisfactory comparison (Hollick 1928). From the Middle Eocene of northwestern Peru, Berry (1926a) described palm endocarps, Astrocaryum olsoni, with a size range of 3.75 – 5.25 cm long • 2.5 – 3.75 cm wide; they have a fibrous outer layer, and a 2–3 mm thick inner layer; their interior is filled with calcified structureless material. From the lower Cenomanian of France (Argonne), Fliche (1896) describes Astrocaryum astrocaryopsis and, also from the upper Cenomanien, Astrocaryopsis sp. from the Sainte Menhould area (Fliche 1894). Astrocaryum-like pollen (Graham 1976) is reported from the Upper Miocene of Mexico (Paraje Solo flora, Veracruz). Van der Hammen and Garcia de Mutis (1966) suggest that the “natural relationship” of the zonasulcate Proxapertites (described by the authors as having, “a very large, variable, ± irregular, aperture”) is Astrocaryum acaule, but this is unlikely because this species has mono- or trichotomosulcate pollen. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Relationships

  • Published evidence indicates that Astrocaryum is monophyletic with moderate support (Gunn 2004; for relationships, see Acrocomia). However, preliminary phylogenetic studies based on molecular data (Pintaud, pers. comm.) suggest that Astrocaryum, as currently delimited, may not be monophyletic. The problem could be addressed, at least in part, by removing two taxa, Astrocaryum mexicanum and A. alatum, which are sister to each other and tend to resolve elsewhere in the Bactridinae. Astrocaryum mexicanum was separated by Burret as the basis of a new genus, Hexopetion, because the staminodes are free as opposed to being cupuliform as in the rest of Astrocaryum. The staminodes in A. alatum form a cupuliform ring, however, so this character seems of no value in separating Hexopetion from Astrocaryum. The one gross morphological character shared by the two species is the fact that the staminate flowers occur directly above the single pistillate flower at the base of the rachillae, whereas in Astrocaryum there is a bare portion immediately distal to the pistillate flowers. There is also a single anatomical difference: the perivascular sclerified sheath in the leaf midrib is continuous in A. alatum and A. mexicanum whereas it is discontinuous in all other species of Astrocaryum examined. Insufficient evidence has been presented to date to warrant the recognition of Hexopetion. A thorough study of relationships across the Bactridinae is required before further changes in Bactridinae can be justified. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Taxonomic accounts

Use Record

Uses

  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: (…) y el hombre lleva tradicionalmente un frontal de fibra de chambira (otifacco). (…). El material tradicional y antes exclusivo para la fabricación de redes de pesca, hamacas y bolsas (shigra) es la fibra de chambira (tuinfa, Astrocaryum sp.), una especie de palma, nativa de la zona. (…). Un informante manifestó que para una hamaca se necesitan las hojas tiernas y todavía cerradas de alrededor de doce palmas, (…). (…). Las piolas más finas las utilizan para los collares y las shigras respectivamente. Los más gruesos, en cambio sirven para redes y hamacas. Collares. Para ensartar se usa un hilo muy fino de chambira. (Einzmann, H., Artesanía indígena del Ecuador: los Cofanes. 1988)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousCofánEcuador
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Alimentación humana. Maderas y fibra para construcción. (...). (Sánchez, M., and P. Miraña, Utilización de la vegetación arbórea en el Medio Caquetá: 1. El árbol dentro de las unidades de la tierra, un recurso para la comunidad Miraña. 1991)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodNot specifiedIndigenousMirañaColombia
    ConstructionOtherNot specifiedIndigenousMirañaColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Collares. (...), la pepa de la palma "chochana" (Astrocaryum sp.) (Einzmann, H., Artesanía indígena del Ecuador: los Cofanes. 1988)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousCofánEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingSpear leafIndigenousCofánEcuador
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Cotyledons edible ( Astrocaryum sp.) (Balslev, H., and A. Barfod, Ecuadorean palms- an overview. 1987)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: El palo cavador (síri)-único implemento agrícola- está hecho por los hombres de la palma de chonta. (…). La madera de la que se hacen los arcos es una variedad de palma de chonta llamada siri. (…). (casa). No escogen con particularidad algún tipo de árbol o madera para la construcción del armazón, aunque frecuentemente se usa la madera suave del tronco de la chonta, (…). (…). (collares). Algunas veces se usan las semillas negras y duras de la palma de chonta y (…). (…). Además de su arco, cada cazador lleva consigo una ocho flechas -cinco con punta de chonta barbada para cazar animales árboreos y tres flechas (…). (…). Durante los meses de Febrero, Marzo y Abril, los pequeños frutos rojos de la palma de chonta (siríba) son recolectados. (…). Una de las actividades de las mujeres que más consumen su tiempo es el hilado del algodón (nínju). La rueca es hecha por los hombres, de la palma de chonta. (…). Ocasionalmente, uno de los grandes peces, tales como el pacú, es pescado cuando se está alimentando de los frutos de la chonta que han caído al río o corriente, pero esto es raro. (Holmberg, A.R., Nómadas del arco largo: los Sirionó del oriente boliviano. 1978)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsLabour toolsStemIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousSirionóBolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Entre las artesanías más llamativas están los anillos que se hacen de la semilla de la "chonta lora", o shibó, Astrocaryum sp. Resultando en aros de color negro muy lustroso. (Hinojosa, I., Plantas utilizadas por los Mosetenes de Santa Ana (Alto Beni, Depto. La Paz).. 1991)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousMoseteneBolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Estas varían en tamaño, con techos muy elevados, construidas con paños de hojas de jatata (Geonoma deversa), hojas de motacú (Attalea phalerata), los soportes del techo son de chonta (Astrocaryum sp.),(...). (Ticona, J. P., Los chimane: conocimiento y uso de plantas medicinales en la comunidad Tacuaral del Matos ( Provincia Ballivián, Departamento del Beni). 2001)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesEntire leafIndigenousTsimaneBolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Las armas tradicionales de caza y pesca se limitan a diferentes tipos de flechas y lanzas; según la característica de las puntas esta : (…), con una punta triangular desprendible atada con cuerda de cumare, para presas de gran tamaño como el venado o el tapir; (…). (…). Del cogollo de la palma se obtiene fibra. La fibra es de gran resistencia y con ella se elaboran redes, hamacas e hilo para amarrar otros objetos, (…). (…). Productos comestibles. Madera construcción. Fibras. Instrumentos. (…). Silvestre. Alimento-fibra. Fruto-hojas. (Garzón, N.C., Aproximación etnobotánica en la comunidad Guayabero de Barrancion-Guaviare. 1985)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    CulturalRecreationalNot specifiedIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    CulturalRecreationalSeedsIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: One Chimane also said that after the white-lipped peccary bones are collected from those who consumed them, they are buried near a shibo´, or chonta palm (Astrocaryum sp.), a preferred food for these peccaries. (…). Reportedly, fish-hooks were made in the past out of chonta (Astrocaryum sp.) wood chips. (…). (Chicchon, A., Chimane resource use and market involvement in The Beni Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia. 1992)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousTsimaneBolivia
    CulturalRitualEntire plantIndigenousTsimaneBolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Palma cuyas hojas se hacen techos. Del estipe se obtiene madera para "yaripas". (...). Fabricación de arcos woijta, para vender como artesanías y para trabajo. Se fabrican unos trompos bojt de la nuez para jugar. (Garzón, N.C., Aproximación etnobotánica en la comunidad Guayabero de Barrancion-Guaviare. 1985)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    CulturalRecreationalSeedsIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticSpear leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    CulturalRecreationalNot specifiedIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: People eat about 50 wild fruits from forest trees and shrubs and the most common are motacú, pacay, majo and chonta (Astrocaryum aff. tucuma). From seven other plants, the nuts or seeds can be used to eat or to produce oil, such as Brazil nut, wild and domestic cashew and chima (Bactris gasipaes). (Henkemans, A., Tranquilidad and Hardship in the Forest: Livelihoods and Perceptions of Camba Forest dwellers in the northern Bolivian Amazon. 2001)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsMestizoN/ABolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Pisos, paredes. Uso alimenticio. Uso tecnológico. (Román, F.J., Especies forestales utilizadas en la construcción de la vivienda tradicional asháninka en el ámbito del Río Perené (Junín, Perú). 2002)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    OtherN/ANot specifiedIndigenousAsháninkaPeru
    Human FoodFoodNot specifiedIndigenousAsháninkaPeru
    ConstructionHousesNot specifiedIndigenousAsháninkaPeru
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Se recogen otros frutos de diversas palmeras de las cuales el indígena conoce la estación específica de su maduración : chonta o sirí, hindoéra, sumuqué, asaí, totaí y otras. (…). Pero la palmera del motacú es la más importante dado que el producto en ella es de fácil extracción mediante el palo de chonta síri y actualmente con machete o hacha. (…). Según se trate de una chacra familiar o comunal los hombres son los responsables de desbrozar el terreno quitando con las manos los arbustos y haciendo palanca con le palo síri en las raíces de los árboles jóvenes. (…). El fruto del pacay se consume crudo, el del motacú tostado, el de chonta hervido. (…). La palabra sirionó para designar al grupo en cuestión es de procedencia extraña y proviene de síri, palmera chonta. Es posible traducir el vocablo sirionó como "aquellos de la palmera sirí" y en estos momentos y a causa del tiempo transcurrido desde los primeros contactos con europeos y neoamericanos, los indígenas aceptan reconocerse como tales sin mayores inconvenientes. (…). La pesca con arco y flecha es una actividad netamente masculina e implica la captura de peces grandes (…). Se realiza en arroyos profundos y en lagunas y la flecha que se emplea es la de punta de chonta o erwúba. (Califano, M., Los indios Sirionó de Bolivia oriental. 1999)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    CulturalRitualEntire plantIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    Utensils and ToolsLabour toolsStemIndigenousSirionóBolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousSirionóBolivia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Seed is edible. Also used to make ornaments to hang on strands of beads worn across the chest. (Vickers, W.T., and T. Plowman, Useful plants of the Siona and Secoya indians of Eastern Ecuador. 1984)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsRopeEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    CulturalPersonal adornmentEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Su empleo es extensivo en cestería de muy buena calidad; también lo utilizan para postes y vigas en las malocas. (Forero, L.E., Etnobotánica de las comunidades indígenas Cuna y Waunana, Chocó (Colombia). 1980)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesNot specifiedIndigenousWaunanColombia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticNot specifiedIndigenousWaunanColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: The 6 cm long seed is edible, has meat very much like a coconut. Fruit produced form December to February. Fiber is stripped from young leaves and used to make hammocks, netted bags, and cordage; formerly was woven to make narrow pelvic band for women. (Vickers, W.T., and T. Plowman, Useful plants of the Siona and Secoya indians of Eastern Ecuador. 1984)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsRopeEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
    CulturalPersonal adornmentEntire leafIndigenousSiona-SecoyaEcuador
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Un segundo ejemplo de refinamiento lo tenemos en las especies básicas para la obtención de sal (componente básico en la preparación del tabaco líquido o ambil). (…). Luego vienen otras especies pero con espinas. Son palmas como erere, bar y komsña, jar na es la palma que más sal preduce de todas las especies. Caracterizan sus contenidos en la corteza, los cogollos y los racimos de frutas, Otras palmas reconocidas son it ma, k nena, ñek na. (…). La pepa es rica para preparar chicha y caguana, de la palma se sacan yaripa para la casa. (Garzón, C., and V. Macuritofe, La noche, las plantas y sus sueños: Aproximación al conocimiento botánico en una cultura amazónica. 1992)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalRecreationalNot specifiedIndigenousHuitotoColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: Used mainly for construction, the hard trunks, deprived of thorns, are used for upright beams. Formerly the wood of Astrocaryum, Bactris, and Guilielma, were used for making bows and arrows, now rare among the acculturated Chocó. Seedling of this species said to be edible. (Duke, J.A., Ethnobotanical observations on the Chocó Indians. 1970)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousNot specifiedColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousNot specifiedColombia
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousNot specifiedColombia
  • Astrocaryum G.Mey.: While the trunks of several palms, notably Astrocaryum (jaja-sie) and Oenocarpus (bajowi) were most commonly used "by the ancestors" for posts, (…). (…). The leaflets of Orbygnia, Euterpe, and Astrocaryum are used to weave floor mats and fans, using a number of different weave types. (Alexiades, M.N., Ethnobotany of the Ese Ejja: plants, health, and change in an amazonian society. 1999)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousEse EjjaBolivia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousEse EjjaPeru
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafIndigenousEse EjjaBolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafIndigenousEse EjjaPeru