Dictyocaryum fuscum (H.Karst.) H.Wendl., Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 21: 131 (1863)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Venezuela present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Coastal range of Venezuela (Aragua, Carabobo, Distrito Federal, Miranda, Yaracuy) in cloud forest between 1000 and 1800 m. Dictyocaryum fuscum actually has a much wider distribution than suggested by herbarium specimens. It occurs from Yaracuy at the western end of the Coastal Cordillera eastwards to Guatopo in the Serrania Interior, a distance of some 300 km. (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A


  • The type consists of four sheets, containing a mixture of Socratea exorrhiza and Dictyocaryum. Two sheets contain only Socratea. Of the other two, one is designated lectotype. Karsten's illustration and description are also a mixture of the two genera (Henderson, 1986b).

    Dictyocaryum fuscum is very similar morphologically to D. ptariense, only differing in its longer staminate flowers.? (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A

Common Name

  • Palma de cacho (Jahn, 1908), palma araque (Ernst, 1976). (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A


    • The wood is used for cabinet making (Ernst, 1976). (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A


    • Stem cylindrical, 10-22 m tall, to 20 cm in diam., gray, smooth, with nodes obscure and in-ternodes to 30 cm long; stilt roots diagonal, closely spaced, branched near or below ground level, 1-2 m x 8-10 cm, with blunt spines. Leaves 4-6, spreading; sheaths forming a compact crown-shaft, 1.2-1.5 m long, glaucous, gray-green, outer surface covered with small apiculate brown scales or densely brown-tomentose; petiole 2-20 cm long (including apical part of sheath), ca. 5 cm in diam., proximally rounded abaxially and shallowly grooved adaxially, terete from middle upwards, glabrescent; rachis 2.4-2.5 m long, ridged and densely-brown-tomentose adaxially, rounded abaxially; pinnae 31-37 per side, subopposite, cuneate with entire margins and blunt praemorse apices, green glabrous adaxially, gray-white waxy abaxially with minute regularly arranged brown scales, these sometimes elongated into hairs, and with lines 3 mm wide of dense white or brown tomentum running parallel to veins, split to the base into 2-9 stiff segments inserted at different angles and radiating in different planes; veins prominent abaxially, yellow, several on proximal segment of each pinna, one on distal segment, with similar scales to pinnae; proximal pinna split into 1-3 segments, proximal segment to 50 cm long and 1 cm wide at mid-point; middle pinna split into nine segments, proximal segment 90-108 cm long, 4 cm wide at mid-point, distal segment to 80 cm long, 2 cm wide at mid-point; apical pinna entire, deeply bifid, to 30 cm long, 8 cm wide at mid-point. Inflorescence pendulous in bud and at anthesis, to 1.5 m long; peduncle terete, curved, 45-50 x 3 cm, densely brown-tomentose, glabrescent; prophyll inserted near base of peduncle, caducous, ancipitous, coriaceous, to 6 cm long, splitting apically; peduncular bracts ten, inserted ca. 3 cm apart, brown-tomentose, glabrescent, proximal ca. 3 to 16 cm long and similar to prophyll, distal remainder to 150 cm long, woody, with non-splitting apex; rachis 40-45 cm long, rachillae to 50, glabrous, spirally arranged, cream-colored at anthesis, with a flattened sterile proximal section to 14 cm long, proximal ones branched into seven rachillae to 75 cm long, distal ones simple to 70 cm long, triads spirally arranged, to 5 mm apart, ebracteolate; flowers proximally in triads, distally staminate in pairs or solitary, yellow; staminate flowers 6-8 mm long; sepals depressed-ovate, 1.5 x 1.5 mm, very shortly connate proximally, imbricate, strongly gibbous; petals ovate-lanceolate, 6-7 x 2 mm, valvate; stamens six; filaments linear, 1 mm long; anthers 6 mm long, sub-basifixed; pistillode 0.5 mm, blunt, 3-lobed; pollen with clavate or clavate-rugulate exine; pistillate flowers 2-3 mm long; sepals depressed-ovate, 2 x 2 mm, gibbous, imbricate; petals ovate, 2 x 2 mm, imbricate proximally, valvate distally; staminodes six, dentiform; stigmas sessile, triangular, 0.5 mm long; ovary glabrous, 3-locular; ovules apically attached; fruit more or less globose, 3-3.5 x 2.5-3 cm, stigmatic scar basal; epicarp glabrous, thin, greenish-yellow at maturity and splitting irregularly; mesocarp 3-4 mm thick, white; endocarp papery; seeds more or less globose, 2-2.5 x 1.5-2 cm, basally attached; raphe branches reticulate, spreading from base; hilum rounded; embryo basal; eophyll bifid. (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A

    Materials Examined

    • VENEZUELA. ARAGUA: Par-que Nacional Henri Pittier, Rancho Grande, Paso de Portachuelo, Periquito trail, 1136-1525 m, 27 Aug 1970 (fl), Moore et al. 9846 (BH, VEN). DISTRITO FEDERAL: Rd. between Hacienda El Limon and Junquito-Colonia Tovar rd., 8 km below junction, 1750 m, 7 Jun 1963 (fl), Steyermark 91502 (BH, VEN). YARACUY: Cerro La Chapa, N of Nirgua, 1200-1400 m, 9-10 Nov 1967 (fr), Steyermark et al. 100312 (BH); 10 Nov 1967 (fl & fr), Wessels Boer 2037 (NY, U); El Amparo towards Candelaria, 7-10 km N of Salom, 1200-1300 m, 27-30 Dec 1972 (fl), Steyermark et al. 106730 (BH, NY, VEN). (Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.)A


      A. Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae. Flora Neotropica Monograph 53.
      B. World Checklist of Arecaceae