Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 11: 179 (1869)

Primary tabs

http://media.e-taxonomy.eu/palmae/photos/palm_tc_155961_1.jpg

Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Ecuador present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to W Ecuador, where it is common in moist forest up to 1500 m elevation. (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

  • The species is unique within the genus in its long-stalked male flowers, a character which separates it from the otherwise rather similar P. tumacana O. F. Cook, distributed in parts of SW Colombia. Populations of individuals with regularly inserted pinnae held in one plane and very small male inflorescences have been observed near San Lorenzo in NW Ecuador. (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

Conservation

  • Lower risk/least concern (Borchsenius & Skov 1999). (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

Description

  • Stem solitary, to 15m tall or more, but often only a few meters, ca. 20 cm in diameter, rough ringed from persisting leaf bases, usually with several dead leaves hanging down below the crown. Leaves 6-8 m long; pinnae 200-300 on each side, arranged in groups and spreading in different planes, or rarely regularly inserted in one plane, the central ones 60-90 cm long and 4-6 cm wide. Male inflorescence 1-2.5 m long, cream to yellow, with 300-500 crowded flower clusters. Male flowers borne on long stalks. Fruiting heads ca. 30 cm in diameter, with up to 12 fruits. Seeds 5-6 per fruit, ca. 5 cm long. (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

Use Record

  • Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce: Agroforestry Systems. Thatch, vegetable ivory. (Borgtoft, H., Uses and management of Aphandra natalia (Palmae) in Ecuador. 1992)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsOtherSeedsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    EnvironmentalAgroforestryEntire plantNot identifiedN/AEcuador
  • Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce: As this material can be used for handicraft, there is some local interest in cultivating the palm (about endosperm). (Svenning, J.C., and H. Balslev, The palm flora of the Maquipucuna montane forest reserve, Ecuador. 1998)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsMestizoN/AEcuador
    EnvironmentalAgroforestryEntire plantMestizoN/AEcuador
  • Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce: Male inflorescence. Foraged by cattle. Mesocarp. Bait for fishtraps. Bait for rodents traps and to attract rodents as game. Extraction of oil (rarely done now). Fodder for pigs and chickens. Haustorium of germinating seed. Human consuption (as snack). (Koziol, M.J., and H. Borgtoft, Phytelephas aequatorialis (Arecaceae) in human and animal nutrition. 1993)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Animal FoodFodderInflorescenceNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsOtherFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Human FoodOilsFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Animal FoodFodderFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Animal FoodFish baitFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsNot identifiedN/AEcuador
  • Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce: The endemic palm Phytelephas aequatorialis (tagua), is found up to 1500 m above sea level. The palm heart is edible. The liquid inside juvenile fruits can be drunk and is considered to be good for the kidneys. Mature seeds are used for carving as vegetable ivory. The leaves can be used for thatching and brooms are made from the fibers of the leaf bases. (Van den Eynden, V., E. Cueva, and O. Cabrera, Edible palms of Southern Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafMestizoN/AEcuador
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartMestizoN/AEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticFruitsMestizoN/AEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinaryUrinary systemFruitsMestizoN/AEcuador
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafMestizoN/AEcuador
    Human FoodFoodFruitsMestizoN/AEcuador
  • Phytelephas aequatorialis Spruce: Uso Medicinal. El agua del fruto tierno se bebe para curar la gastritis. Para aclarar la vista se coloca con un gotero en los ojos. Sirve para curar la inflamación de los ovarios. Uso Alimenticio. Los frutos tiernos se usa en la alimentación. El agua del fruto tierno se bebe para calmar la sed. Uso Construcción. Las hojas se usa para techar viviendas. (Cerón, C.E., C. Montalvo, A. Calazacón et al., Etnobotánica Tsáchila, Pichincha-Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousTsáchilaEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinarySensory systemFruitsIndigenousTsáchilaEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinaryReproductive system and sexual healthFruitsIndigenousTsáchilaEcuador
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafIndigenousTsáchilaEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinaryDigestive systemFruitsIndigenousTsáchilaEcuador
  • Palandra aequatorialis (Spruce) O.F.Cook: Cayapas. Leaves used for thatch and fibers. Endosperm and mesocarp edible. (Barfod, A., and H. Balslev, The use of palms by the Cayapas and Coaiqueres on the Coastal plain of Ecuador. 1988 (as Palandra aequatorialis (Spruce) O.F.Cook))
  • Palandra aequatorialis (Spruce) O.F.Cook: Vegetable Ivory ( Palandra aequatorialis). (…). 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.). (Balslev, H., and A. Barfod, Ecuadorean palms- an overview. 1987 (as Palandra aequatorialis (Spruce) O.F.Cook))

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. World Checklist of Arecaceae