Bactris major Jacq., Select. Stirp. Amer. Hist. , ed. 2: 134 (1781)

Primary tabs

http://media.e-taxonomy.eu/palmae/photos/palm_tc_18943_1.jpg

Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Belizepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil West-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
El Salvadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guatemalapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Honduraspresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Gulfpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Mexico Southwestpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nicaraguapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Perupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Trinidad-Tobagopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Common and widespread from southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America, less common in the Amazon region, again common in lowland Bolivia. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Habitat

  • In forest or more often in open areas near streams or standing water, often in coastal areas, also in disturbed places, below 600 m elevation. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Discussion

  • Bactris major is diagnosed by its pistillate flowers (and fruits) with staminodial ring, subglobose, irregularly ellipsoid, ellipsoid-oblong, or broadly obovoid, brown or purple-black fruits 1.5-4.5 x 1-3.5 cm, with minute spinules or small brown scales, and ellipsoid or obovoid endocarp with the pores equatorial and equidistant, but the fertile one displaced proximally. Synonymy was established by Henderson (1995) and de Nevers et al. (1996). This is a widespread and extremely variable species. Henderson (1995) divided it into four varieties, only three of which are here accepted. This species is, however, still poorly understood, and the boundaries between the varieties are not always clear.
    Bactris major var. major is fairly homogeneous vegetatively, but variable in fruit size and shape. It is similar to, but easily distinguished from var. sociale, by the peduncular bract spines and geographic range. Bactris major var. infesta is even more heterogeneous. Some specimens from the western Amazon region of Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil are smaller than the others and have inflorescences with 1 or 2 rachillae (e.g., Balslev et al. 84772, Henderson et al. 1524, Henderson & Padilla 2103, Pardini 58, L. Vargas 976). Except for their swollen, scurfy or spinulose fruiting calyx and corolla and scurfy or spinulose fruits, they are similar to specimens of B. concinna, and some were so identified by Henderson (1995).
    One specimen (Brazil. Amazonas: Barcellos, 19 Jun 1874, Trail 855/LXII (K)), incorrectly determined by Trail as B. aristata, is similar to another specimen (Brazil. Amazonas: Mun. Careiro, km 22 on Manaus-Porto Velho hwy., 3°30'S, 60°W, 1 Apr 1985, Henderson 176 (NY)). Both are large plants with regularly pinnate leaves, inflorescences with 1 rachilla, and pistillate flowers with a staminodial ring. Both lack fruits but could belong to B. major although neither is included in the above description. Another specimen (Venezuela. Lara: Gamilotal, 2-3 km E of El Altar, 10°40'S, 69°W, 200-300 m, 17 Jun 1994, Noblick & R. Smith 4935 (FTG, NY)) has the large inflorescence and clustered leaf spines of B. setulosa, but fruits of B. major, and may be a hybrid. This specimen is similar to another, at least in fruits (Venezuela. Aragua: Maracay, 2 May 1930, Vogl s.n. (B)), except that this latter has a leaf with flattened yellow spines (like B. brongniartii), and was determined by Burret as Pyrenoglyphis leucacantha (Linden & Wendland) Burret. Vogl s.n. may also be a hybrid (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Description

  • Stems cespitose, forming dense or open clumps, 1-10 m tall, 2-6 cm diam., spiny on internodes.
    Leaves 3-10; leaf spines brown or black, more or less terete, to 11 cm long, moderate to dense on sheath, petiole, and rachis; sheath 22-55 cm long, fibrous on margins; ocrea to 20 cm long, becoming fibrous; petiole 0.1 -1.5 m long; rachis 0.7-1.8 m long; pinnae 24-46 per side, more or less regularly arranged, sometimes irregularly, spreading in the same plane, linear, aristate, minutely spiny on margins, with a metallic sheen on drying; middle pinnae 25-62 x 1-3.5 cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 15-40 cm long, recurved, spinulose or densely spiny; prophyll 13-30 cm long; peduncular bract 28-60 cm long, densely to moderately covered with black, dark brown, or yellowish brown spines to 1(-2) cm long; rachis 0.5-4 cm long; rachillae (1-)5-10(-17), 9-23 cm long, ca. 2 mm diam. at anthesis, 3-4 mm thick in fruit, at anthesis scarcely covered brown tomentum; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers 3-8 mm long, somewhat persistent; sepal lobes 1.5-3 mm long; petals 3-7 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 4-9 mm long; calyx tubular, 4-8 mm long, minutely spinulose; corolla tubular, 3-5 mm long, minutely and densely spinulose; staminodial ring adnate to corolla, 1-3 mm long; fruits 1.5-4.5 x 1-3.5 cm, subglobose, irregularly ellipsoid, ellipsoid-oblong, or broadly obo-void, brown or purple-black, with minute spinules or small brown scales; mesocarp juicy; endocarp ellipsoid or obovoid, the pores equatorial, equidistant, but fertile one displaced proximally; endocarp fibers numerous, free; fruiting perianth with regularly lobed calyx shorter than the regularly lobed, swollen corolla, with staminodial ring adnate to corolla. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Use Record

  • Bactris major Jacq.: Alimentación humana. Fruto (mesocarpo). Consumido cuando está maduro. Comercial. Estípite. El estípite es cortado en segmentos cada uno de los cuales es trabajado hasta elaborar pequeñas puntas de flecha artesanales. (Armesilla, P.J., Usos de las palmeras (Arecaceae),en la Reserva de la Biosfera-Tierra Comunitaria de Orígen Pilón Lajas, (Bolivia). 2006)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousTsimane/MoseteneBolivia
    CulturalOtherStemIndigenousTsimane/MoseteneBolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Comestible. Fruto. El mesocarpo se chupa. (Macía, M.J., Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousTacanaBolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: El 59% de las especies (13 spp.) reportaron el uso alimenticio tanto de frutos, como de semillas, palmito u otros derivados de estos; cinco de estas especies son utilizadas exclusivamente para este fin, Allagoptera leucocalyx, Bactris hirta y B. major son buscadas solamente por sus frutos, mientras que Dictyocaryum lamarckianum y Euterpe luminosa son extraidas ocasionalmente por el palmito. (Paniagua Zambrana, N.Y., Guía de plantas útiles de la comunidad de San José de Uchupiamonas. 2001)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Four palm species also provide edible seeds (Attalea butyracea and A. phalerata, Bactris major var. infestans and Astrocaryum murumuru). (…). Trinitario and Yuracaré men carve their bows principally from the hardwood of Bactris gasipaes, and more sporadically from Bactris major var. infestans.(…). Arrowheads are basically made from Bactris gasipaes or Bactris major var. infestans wood. (…). Nowadays, imported combs are used, but these used to be made from various plant species. The teeth used to be made from the wood of Bactris gasipaes or B. major var. infestans and were held together with slats of Gynerium saggitatum or Guadua cf. weberbaueri. (Thomas, E., Quantitative Ethnobotanical Research on Knowledge and Use of Plants for Livelihood among Quechua, Yuracaré and Trinitario Communities in the Andes and Amazon Regions of Bolivia.. 2008)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousYuracaré/TrinitarioBolivia
    Human FoodFoodSeedsIndigenousYuracaré/TrinitarioBolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousYuracaré/TrinitarioBolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Fruit. Walls. (Moraes, M., J. Sarmiento,and E. Oviedo, Richness and uses in a diverse palm site in Bolivia. 1995)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesNot specifiedNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Los frutos frescos del marayabú son comestibles, la pulpa jugosa que recubre la semilla se chupa y es dulce. (Paniagua Zambrana, N.Y., Guía de plantas útiles de la comunidad de San José de Uchupiamonas. 2001)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousQuechua/TacanaBolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Los frutos se emplean en decocción como antihelmínticos, laxantes. También como antídoto contra veneno de serpientes. (García Barriga, H., Flora Medicinal de Colombia. Botánica Médica. 1974)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryPoisoningsFruitsNot identifiedN/AColombia
    Medicinal and VeterinaryDigestive systemFruitsNot identifiedN/AColombia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Los frutos son comestibles y apetecidos por la fragancia que transmiten. Puede existir potencialidad de comercialización en las empresas industriales dedicadas a la elaboración de jugos; se puede utilizar la pulpa de los frutos como sustancia base para jugos y néctares. Asimismo, se puede impulsar la comercialización como plantas ornamentales en ciudades urbanas. (Hinojosa, I., E. Uzquiano, E., and J. Flores, Los Yuracaré: su conocimiento, experiencia y la utilización de recursos vegetales en el río Chapare. 2001)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    EnvironmentalOrnamentalEntire plantIndigenousYuracaréBolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousYuracaréBolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Los frutos son consumidos y las matas son utilizadas en jardinería. (Moreno Suárez, L., and O.I. Moreno Suárez, Colecciones de las palmeras de Bolivia. 2006)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    EnvironmentalOrnamentalEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Los troncos son usados para elaborar cestas y los frutos son comestibles. (Moraes, M., Contribución al estudio del ciclo biológico de la palma Copernicia alba en un área ganadera (Espíritu, Beni, Bolivia). 1991)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Sus frutos son comestibles, las matas son usadas en jardinería, aunque su uso no es muy frecuente. (Moreno Suárez, L., and O.I. Moreno Suárez, Colecciones de las palmeras de Bolivia. 2006)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    EnvironmentalOrnamentalEntire plantNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Bactris major Jacq.: Their stems, known locally as lata, are widely used in rural areas of northern Colombia for building huts and rustic houses. (Dugand, A., Palms of Colombia. 1961)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
  • Pyrenoglyphis major (Jacq.) H.Karst.: Es la que utilizan los chamí para construir su cerbatana o bodoquera, uniendo dos secciones acanaladas. (Cayón, E., and S. Aristizábal, Lista de plantas utilizadas por los indígenas Chami de Risaralda. 1980 (as Pyrenoglyphis major (Jacq.) H.Karst.))
  • Pyrenoglyphis major (Jacq.) H.Karst.: Sirve preferentemente a los indios para la fabricación de sus armas, como flechas, arpones y arcos. En un grado más elevado de cultura, se emplea la madera de estas palmas para hacer mangos de herramientas. (Pérez-Arbeláez, E., Plantas útiles de Colombia. 1956 (as Pyrenoglyphis major (Jacq.) H.Karst.))

Bibliography

A. Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae