Bactris maraja Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 93 (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
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Perupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Widespread and common from Costa Rica south through Central America, Colombia, and into the Amazon region; lowland and premontane rain forest, on terra firme or in inundated areas, at low elevations but occasionally reaching 1500m. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Widespread from Central America to Bolivia, on both sides of the Andes.
Distribution in Ecuador. In Ecuador it is fairly common E of the Andes, usually on terra firme, and in the NW, where it occurs in periodically flooded land dominated by Euterpe oleracea. (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 polymorphic species divided into four varieties (Henderson, 2000).Notes for Ecuador. The Ecuadorian plants belong to var. maraja. (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 maraja is diagnosed by its yellowish or brownish, flattened leaf spines, 2-17 rachillae, pistillate flowers (and fruits) without a staminodial ring, and purple-black fruits. Synonymy was established by Wessels Boer (1965, 1988) and Henderson (1995).
    This species, previously known as Bactris monticola (e.g., Wessels Boer, 1965, 1988) is common, widespread, and variable and is perhaps one of the most poorly understood in the genus. There are not enough collections to resolve intraspecific variation. Henderson (1995) divided the species into three varieties, a scheme followed here, although somewhat modified. Here four varieties are recognized.
    In the first variety, called Bactris maraja by Martius and Trail, the leaf spines are flattened, yellowish at the middle and darker at the base and apex; the pinnae are broadly sigmoid, abruptly narrowed into a pendulous apex, often pilose abaxially, strongly clustered and spreading in different planes, and the apical pinnae is often wider than the others; and the peduncular bract is like cardboard and has flat, yellow spines or sometimes with short brown spinules. This variety often grows in low-lying, wet areas (and is commonly confused with B. brongniartii). There are two distinct fruit sizes, one larger and one smaller, and the form er was separated by Wessels Boer (1988) as Bactris macrocarpa. Plants with larger fruits are common in Guyana, Colombia (Chocó), and elsewhere. Some specimens have elongate fruits, but I believe these are caused by deformation. All these plants are here called var. maraja.
    The second variety, essentially a smaller version of var. maraja, is also found in low-lying, wet areas. It is smaller in all parts. In some specimens fruits are elongate (but again probably caused by some deformation). It is here called var. juruensis. This is an heterogeneous collection of specimens and may not represent a taxon. Two specimens, neither cited above (Brazil. Acre: Mun. Taumaturgo, Rio Tejo, 8°57'S, 72°33'W, 12 Mar 1992, Ferreira 128 (UFAC); Rio Juruá, above Cruzeiro do Sui, near Natal, 8°20'S, 72°15'W, 8 Feb 1992, Henderson et al. 1666 (NY)) are similar to the type of Bactris piranga, which is here treated as a synonym of var. juruensis. These may represent a distinct taxon, but more collections are needed.
    The third, common variety, usually occurring on terra firme, was called Bactris trichospatha by Trail. It often has darker spines, a densely brown-tomentose sheath and petiole, narrower pinnae that are often more or less regularly arranged, and a densely brown velutinous peduncular bract. Such plants are here called var. trichospatha.
    The fourth variety from Peru (Loreto) and Brazil (western Amazonas) has simple leaves, but is otherwise similar to var. trichospatha. It is here called var.chaetospatha. In some places, e.g., near Manaus, vars. marajaand trichospatha grow together, the former in várzea and the latter on terra firme, and are obviously distinct taxa; in other places, e.g., near Iquitos, the ecological boundary is unclear and there seem to be a number of intermediates. A few specimens appear to be hybrids with other species. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Common Name

  • Bolivia: chontilla conguillo, shinishëoxo (Chacabo). Brazil: marajá, marajá pupunha, tupina'i (Arawete), ubim de espinho. Colombia: chontilla, espina. French Guiana: anuyawili (Wayâpi). Guyana: bunyashiri. Panama: chunga, gui (Kuna), gui wala (Kuna), mogor (Kuna), uvita. Peru: chambira ñeja, chonlilla, ñeja, ñejilla. Suriname: piritu (Trio), piritiumë (Trio). Venezuela: piritu, uvade montaña. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Description

  • Understorey palm. Stems clustered, to 5 m tall and 3 cm in diameter.
    Spines on the leaf sheath and axis pale yellow to whitish grey, broad, and flat. Leaf blade 0.5-1.5 m long; pinnae 5-25 on each side, sigmoid, inserted in groups and spreading in different planes, the middle ones 15-50 cm long and 4.5-9 cm wide.
    Inflorescence 15-30 cm long; branches ca. 10, to 10 cm long, 2-3 mm in diameter. Female flowers scattered along the branches.
    ruit black, flattened at top, rostrate, smooth or rough, 1-2 cm in diameter; fruiting perianth with a 3 lobed calyx ca. half as long as the deeply 3-lobed, usually minutely bristly 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, usually in open clumps of 2-15 stems, 1-7(-10) m tall, 1-4 cm diam., spiny on internodes.
    Leaves 3-10; leaf spines yellowish and then black at base and apex, or brown, flattened, to 5(-10) cm long, moderate to dense on sheath, petiole, fewer on rachis; sheath 12-35 cm long, sheath, petiole, and rachis occasionally densely brown-tomentose; ocrea to 15 cm long; petiole 13-76 cm long; rachis 30-130 cm long; pinnae (2-)6-30 per side (occasionally leaf simple), irregularly arranged in clusters of 2-5, spreading in different planes, or regularly arranged and spreading in the same plane, sigmoid to lanceolate, long-acuminate, occasionally pilose abaxially; middle pinnae 20-48 x 3-7 cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 11-18 cm long, recurved, not spiny or spinulose; prophyll 8- 26 cm long; peduncular bract 15-38 cm long, whitish brown-tomentose, velvety brown-tornentose, not spiny or occasionally with flattened, yellowish or brownish spines to 8 mm long especially at the apex; rachis 1-5 cm long; rachillae 2-17, 5-15 cm long, at anthesis densely brown tomentose; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers 3.5-5 mm long, deciduous; sepal lobes 0.5- 1.5 mm long; petals 3-5 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 3-4 mm long; calyx tubular, 2.5-4 mm long, rarely spinulose; corolla tubular, 2.5-4 mm long, usually spinulose; staminodes absent; fruits to 1.7 cm diam., widely depressed obovoid, rostrate, purple-black, usually minutely spinulose; mesocarp juicy; endocarp depressed-oblong, the sterile pores displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers free, numerous, with juice sacs attached; fruiting perianth with deeply 3-lobed calyx half as long as the deeply 3-lobed, often spinulose corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)B

Use Record

  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Alimento. Fruto. Virusa. Tallo. (Cerón, C.E., Etnobiología de los Cofanes de Dureno, provincia de Sucumbíos, Ecuador. 1995)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Ambas para sacar hormigas comestibles. (Kronik, J. et al., Fééjahisuu. Palmas de los Nietos de la Tierra y Montaña Verde del Centro. 1999)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingNot specifiedIndigenousMuinaneColombia
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Artesanal. Tallo. Construcción. Tallo. Alim. animal. Fruto. (Cerón, C.E., C. Montalvo, C.I. Reyes, and, D. Andi, Etnobotánica Quichua Limoncocha, Sucumbíos-Ecuador. 2005)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsOtherStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Artesanias. Semilla. Herramientas.Tronco. Medicinal. Raíz. (…). Muchas de las herramientas de trabajo para la chagra (parcela de cultivos tradicionales, yuca y plátano) y para la selva se hacen a partir de materiales que brindan las palmas, especialmente las de las variedades de Nejilla, B. maraja y B. concinna, donde sus troncos son usados para la elaboración de huecos en el suelo donde luego se siembra el maíz; también se elaboran arcos como herramientas para la cacería. (…). Dentro de las prácticas medicinales las palmas también presentan un papel esencial, e este caso se encuentran 5 especies de las cuales su raíz es usada en infusiones y bebidas para la curación de la malaria, problemas con la orina y como purgantes; el cogollo de la Bacaba es usado en la curación para la picadura de alacrán. (Forero, M.C., Aspectos etnobotánicos de uso y manejo de la familia Arecaceae (palmas) en la comunidad indígena Ticuna de Santa Clara de Tarapoto, del resguardo Ticoya del municipio de Puerto Nariño, Amazonas, Colombia.. 2005)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryUrinary systemRootIndigenousTikunaColombia
    Utensils and ToolsLabour toolsStemIndigenousTikunaColombia
    Medicinal and VeterinaryDigestive systemRootIndigenousTikunaColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousTikunaColombia
    Medicinal and VeterinaryInfections and infestationsRootIndigenousTikunaColombia
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousTikunaColombia
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Bactris majaja is one of a dozen or so species in the genus Bactris with edible fruits that thrives in wetlands in the peruvian Amazon and other parts of the basin. (Smith, N., R. Vásquez, and W. H. Wust, Amazon river fruits. Flavors for Conservation. 2007)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Bactris maraja Mart. var. maraja Vernacular names: Daguemuwe, emetugawe (adult). Vouchers: Macía et al. #1551; Macía et al. #3003. Uses. E: The mesocarp is edible. HF: The stem is used to make improvised hunting spears. The stem is used to carve blowgun darts if there is nothing better. The outer layer of the stem is used as a wadding for gun cartridges. M: A decoction of adventitous roots is drunk to cure bad coughs and sore throats. (Macía, M.J., Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryMusculo-skeletal systemRootIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinaryRespiratory systemRootIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Bactris maraja Mart. Español: Dinamillo de la altura, Nejilla. Urarina: Dijié Usos: Alimenticio — Los frutos maduros son comestibles. Comunidad: 3, 4, 6, 7, 9–16, 19–30. Voucher: H. Balslev 7459. (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 maraja Mart.: Comestibles. (Albán, J., La mujer y las plantas útiles silvestres en la comunidad Cocama-Cocamilla de los ríos Samiria y Marañon.. 1994)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodNot specifiedIndigenousCocamaPeru
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Fruit edible. Trunks used in house construction as floor supports and rafters. (Bodley, J.H., and F.C. Benson, Cultural ecology of Amazonian palms. 1979)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousShipibo-ConiboPeru
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousShipibo-ConiboPeru
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Fruits and palm hearts edible. Leaves used for thatch. (Báez, S., and Å. Backevall, Dictionary of plants used by the Shuar of Makuma and Mutints. 1998)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartIndigenousShuarEcuador
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousShuarEcuador
    ConstructionThatchEntire leafIndigenousShuarEcuador
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: 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
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Los pecíolos después de desprenderles su corteza y pulirlos, son utilizados para elaborar los astiles de los arpones usados en la pesca. (Cárdenas, D., and Politis, G.G., Territorio, movilidad, etnobotánica y manejo del bosque de los Nukak Orientales. 2000)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingPetioleIndigenousNukakColombia
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Mesocarpo. Fresco. (Mendoza, P., Identificación de los frutos comestibles silvestres recolectados por los indígenas Huaorani de la comunidad de Toñiampari en la Amazonía del Ecuador. 1994)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Se aprovecha el mesocarpo jugoso, agridulce. (Mejía, K., Las palmeras en los mercados de Iquitos. 1992)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodBeveragesFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Sus frutos son comestibles. (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
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Sus frutos son comestibles. (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
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Sweet pulp. (Vasquez, R., and A.H. Gentry, Use and misuse of forest-harvested fruits in the Iquitos area. 1989)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: The stems are used as spears in lack of other materials. (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)
  • Bactris maraja Mart.: Zoo-uso. Fruto. Artesanal. Tallo. Cacería. Tallo. (Cerón, C.E., and C. Montalvo, Reserva Biológica Limoncocha. Formaciones vegetales, Diversidad y Etnobotánica.. 2000)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsOtherStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador

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