Ammandra O.F.Cook, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 17: 220 (1927)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
One species known from the western coastal regions of Colombia and a disjunct population in eastern Colombia. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A


Biology And Ecology



  • Solitary, stemless or short-trunked, unarmed, pleonanthic, dioecious palm. Stem extremely short, internodes short, obscured by a loose network of long, slender, straight, sheath fibres. Leaf pinnate; sheath soon disintegrating into a mass of long straight fibres resembling horse hair; petiole erect, long, slender, grooved adaxially at the base, becoming cylindrical distally; leaflets very regular except for the lower-most which may be irregular, stiffly horizontal, the lowest very narrow, the middle lanceolate, the terminal very short, shiny dark green, a midrib and a pair of marginal veins prominent abaxially, the submarginal veins forming a prominent ridge with a resulting outer groove along the leaflet margins, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences, the staminate and pistillate dissimilar; staminate short, racemose, recurved at anthesis, branched to 1 order; peduncle moderate, rounded, glabrous; prophyll tubular, short, shallowly 2-keeled, rounded to a shallow point, splitting apically; complete peduncular bracts l, similar to the propyll but longer, other peduncular bracts few (5 according to Cook) large or small and shallow; rachis slightly longer than the peduncle, bearing spirally arranged, short, terete branches, each subtended by a small pointed bract; first-order branches each bearing ca. 6(–9), crowded, staminate flowers, subtending bracts small, pointed, membranous or not evident. Staminate flowers with a short terete stalk; perianth consisting of a low membranous rim or absent; floral receptacle chunky with several flat sides all bearing irregularly to somewhat spirally arranged stamens, filaments very short, appressed, or briefly elongate, anthers short, rounded or ± elongate, basifixed, latrorse; pistillode terminal, conical, whitish, irregular in position. Pollen brevi-ellipsoidal to spheroidal, usually ± symmetric; aperture a distal brevi sulcus or large pore; ectexine semi-tectate, foveolate or reticulate, aperture margin psilate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 70–85 µm [1/1]. Pistillate inflorescence head-like, unbranched; prophyll tubular, short, 2-keeled laterally, flattened, pointed, splitting along one side; peduncular bracts several, the first complete, tubular, rounded, with a short pointed tip, splitting apically on one side, the second and third bracts incomplete, short, united basally to form a tube, distal parts distinct, triangular, fourth to sixth bracts also united basally into a shorter tube with distinct, tapering tips, seventh and eight bracts united basally on one side, open on the other side. Pistillate flowers spirally arranged, closely appressed, each subtended by a bract; sepals ± 4, narrow, elongate; petals ± 4, like the sepals but longer and somewhat wider, variously wrinkled; staminodes apparently absent; gynoecium consisting of ca. 8 carpels, connate laterally, ovarian part terete, tapering into an elongate, cylindrical style and ca. 8, curly, elongate stigmas, conduplicately folded, bearing stigmatoid tissue along the margins. Fruits borne in large head-like clusters of 3–6, clusters smaller than those of Phytelephas, each fruit rounded, covered in large, pointed warts, stylar remains terminal, forming a large beak; epicarp with short, close fibres, mesocarp fibres fine, endocarp shell-like with adherent fibres enclosing each seed. Seed ± kidney-shaped, hilum basal, raphe fibres parallel, ascending, with short branches forming grooves in the endosperm, endosperm homogeneous, very hard; embryo lateral near the base. Germination remote-ligular; eophyll pinnate. Cytology not studied. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Use Record

  • Ammandra O.F.Cook: Fibers extracted from leaf sheath for brooms (Ammandra sp.). (…). Palm heart edible (Prestoea sp., Euterpe spp., Iriartea deltoidea, Socratea exorrhiza, Ammandra sp.). (…). Fresh fruits edible (Bactris sp., Phytelephas microcarpa, Ammandra sp., Palandra aequatorialis, Aiphanes caryotaefolia, Aiphanes eggersii, Astrocaryum murumuru, Astrocaryum chambira, Astrocaryum standleyanum, Desmoncus sp., Geonoma sp.). (…). The fluid endosperm is a rich beverage (…). (…). Cattle feed on the male inflorescences. (Balslev, H., and A. Barfod, Ecuadorean palms- an overview. 1987)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticLeaf sheathNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Animal FoodFodderInflorescenceNot identifiedN/AEcuador