Bactris hirta Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 105 (1826)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Brazil Northeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Brazil Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Perupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Common and widespread throughout the Amazon region and Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil; lowland or upland rain foreston terra firme, usually below 350 m elevation but occasionally to 1500 m. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

The Amazon region and adjacent areas, plus SE Brazil, at low elevations.
Distribution in Ecuador. The species is apparently rare in Ecuador, where it has been recorded only once. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A

Discussion

  • A highly polymorphic species divided into four varieties.Notes for Ecuador. The Ecuadorian plants belong to var. lakoi (Burret) A.J. Hend. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A
  • Bactris hirta is diagnosed by its 1-4(- 5) rachillae 5-7 cm long, tubular corolla 2-3.5 mm long densely covered with long, flexuous, appressed, brown hairs (these exceeding the corolla), and globose to broadly obovoid, orange-red or red fruits 5-8 mm diameter (rarely to 1 cm long).
    This species is widespread and extremely variable, particularly in leaf division, shape, and size. There are several more or less distinct local forms, and some of these are recognized here as varieties. The differences between them are not always clear, and the whole complex is poorly understood. Many more collections are needed to better understand this species. I expect that further collecting and study will lead to the recognition of even more taxa. In the following paragraphs I attempt to describe some of the variation among and within the four varieties here recognized.
    In the western and central Amazon region there are specimens without leaf spines (or rarely spiny), and with short petioles, and simple, narrowly to broadly obovate, deeply bifid blades, usually with prominent cross-veins. The peduncle is spinulose and usually becomes recurved after anthes is. Some of these were called B. hirta var. pulchra by Henderson (1995) and Henderson et al. (1995). They have also been identified as B. hirta and B. longipes. They area heterogeneous group of specimens, and are here called var. hirta.
    Specimens from Guyana at 300-700 m elevation have simple leaves that are spinulose and lighter green abaxially, and glabrous or spinulose fruits. The first collection of these was by Jenman, and Trail wrote the name B. vesiculifera on the label of this collection, although this name was never validly published. It is here called var. jenmanii.
    A group of distinctive specimens from the western Amazon region have densely spinulose leaves, with soft spines to 2 cm long. Leaves are pinnate with linear-lanceolate to sigmoid pinnae. These are herecalled var. lakoi, although they were referred to as var. mollis by Henderson (1995) and Henderson et al. (1995).
    The fourth variety, var. spruceana, is common and widespread and occurs throughout the Amazon regionand in the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil. Within this variety it is possible to recognize five local forms. In the first, plants have large, simple leaves and elongate petioles. The abaxial leaf surface is often pilose. Specimens of this form have been referred to as Bactris hirta, B. geonomoides, and B. integrifolia. More toward the center of the Amazon region (but alsoin the Atlantic coastal forest) the second, common form is found. This has large, pinnate leaves. Pinnae are 7-30 per side, linear, elongate, and are 22-37 cm long and 1-2 cm. This form has been called B. pectinata. The third local form also has pinnate leaves. It is found in the upper Río Negro region of Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar) and Colombia (Guainía), often on tepuí slopes from 400 to 1670 m elevation. Pinnaeare fewer and shorter, typically 7-10 per side, linear-lanceolate to sigmoid, 17- 25 cm long and 2-3 cm. This form was called B. turbinata by Spruce. The fourth form, also pinnate-leafed, is known from western Brazil (Amazonas, Río Jurua) and Peru (Loreto, Rio Ucayali). Specimens have much larger inflorescences than usual. The fifth form consists of a few specimens from the western Amazon region (e.g., Galeano 2032, Gentry 61973, Knapp 7928). These have 2-5, broad, sigmoid, irregularly arranged, densely pilose pinnae, with the apical pinna much wider than the others. Inflorescences are pendulous, like those of B. simplicifrons. All these five local forms grow together, and it is not uncommon to find two leaf forms, pinnate and simple, on the same plant. Because of this, and because there are few other differences in vegetative or reproductive characters, I have treated all these forms as var. spruceana. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Common Name

  • Brazil: aricanga-falsa-inteira, aricanga-falsa-partida, jawpe, marajá, marazaiwaran (Tembé), tucui, tucum-mirim, ubim rana. Colombia: chontaduro de rana. Suriname: kiskismaka. Venezuela: cubarro, cuivaro, espinita, guaro. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Description

  • Understorey palm. Stem 50-300 cm tall, 0.5-2 cm in diameter.
    Leaf blade to 2 m long, simple or pinnate. Female flowers scattered along the branches, with an annular calyx much shorter than the corolla.
    Fruit orange-red to purplish black, globose, 5-10 mm in diameter, covered with small bristles; fruiting perianth with a very small calyx and a much longer, hairy, 3-lobed corolla; staminodial ring absent. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A
  • Stems solitary or cespitose and forming small clumps, 0.5-3 m tall, 0.5-2 cm diam., commonly covered with persistent, decaying leaf bases, spiny or not spiny on internodes.
    Leaves 3-8; leaf spines somewhat clustered, black, terete or sometimes flattened, 0.5-3(-5) cm long, dense on sheath, fewer on petiole, usually absent from rachis, or spines absent; sheath 8-26 cm long, sheath, petiole, and rachis spinulose or brown-tomentose; ocrea to 1 cm long; petiole 6-89 cm long; rachis 15-80 cm long; blade simple or pinnate, pinnate leaves with 7-30 pinnae per side, regularly or irregularly arranged, spreading in the same plane, linear, linear-lanceolate or sigmoid, aristate, with fine spinules along the margins, usually with soft hairs to 3 mm long abaxially, and occasionally adaxially; simple leaves 23-80 cm long, 9-20 cm wide at rachis apex, sometimes lighter green abaxially, sometimes with prominent cross-veins, middle pinnae of pinnate leaves 10-37 x 1-3 cm.
    Inflorescences inter- or infrafoliar, usually borne among persistent leaf sheaths; peduncle 3-21 cm long, straight or curved, spinulose or not; prophyll 3-6(-9) cm long; peduncular bract 9- 12 cm long, sparsely to densely covered with black or brown spines to 5 mm long; rachis 0-0.7 cm long; rachillae 1-4(-6),2.5- 7 cm long, usually forming a 45° angle with the stem, at anthesis densely whitish brown-tomentose, covered with brown; moniliform trichomes; triads regularly arranged almost throughout rachillae, paired or solitary staminate distally; staminate flowers 3-4 mm long, semipersistent or deciduous; sepal lobes 0.5-1 mm long; petals 3-4 mm long; stamens 6-7; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 2-3.5 mm long; calyx annular, 0.5-1 mm long; corolla tubular, 2-3.5 mm long, tomentose, densely covered with long, flexuous, appressed, brown hairs, these exceeding the corolla; staminodes minute or absent; fruits 5-8 mm diam., rarely to 1 cm long, globose to broadly obovoid, orange-red or red, afterwards becoming black, covered with fine, brown, deciduous spinules, rarely glabrous; mesocarp starchy; endocarp turbinate, the sterile pores slightly displaced longitudinally or equally spaced; endocarp fibers few, free; fruiting perianth with small, 3-lobed calyx and much longer, hairy, broadly 3-lobed corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Use Record

  • Bactris hirta Mart.: Bactris hirta Mart. var. hirta y var. lakoi (Burret) A.J.Hend. Español: Nejilla Usos: Alimenticio — Los frutos maduros son comestibles. Comunidad: 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23–26. Voucher: H. Balslev 7307. (Balslev, H., C. Grandez, et al., Useful palms (Arecaceae) near Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon. 2008)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Bactris hirta Mart.: Bactris hirta Mart. var. hirta y var. lakoi (Burret) A.J.Hend. Español: Nejilla Usos: Alimenticio — Los frutos maduros son comestibles. Comunidad: 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23–26. Voucher: H. Balslev 7307. (Balslev, H., C. Grandez, et al., Useful palms (Arecaceae) near Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon. 2008)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Bactris hirta Mart.: 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 hirta Mart.: Uso alimenticio. (Pacheco, T., R. Burga, P.A. Angulo, and J. Torres, Evaluación de Bosques Secundarios de la zona de Iquitos. 1998)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodNot specifiedMestizoN/APeru

Bibliography

A. Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador
B. Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000
C. World Checklist of Arecaceae