Bactris brongniartii Mart., Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 59 (1844)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil West-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Throughout the Amazon region and adjacent areas in Colombia (Antioquia, Bolívar, Caquetá, Chocó, Guaviare, Meta, Santander), Venezuela (Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Delta Amacuro), the Guianas, Peru (Loreto, Ucayali), Brazil (Acre, Amazonas, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sui, Pará, Rondonia, Roraima), and Bolivia (Beni, La Paz, Santa Cruz); (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A



  • Bactris brongniartii is diagnosed by its yellowish brown (black at base and apex), strongly flattened leaf spines, staminodial ring, and purple-black fruits. Synonymy was established by Wessels Boer (1965). The type has not been located at Paris, but the original description and more recent collections from Bolivia leave no doubt as to the application of the name. Bactris maraja, the name applied to this species by Wessels Boer (1965, 1988) and others, applies to another species (Henderson, 1995). Evandro Ferreira (pers. comm.) reports a hybrid between B. brongniartii and B. major in Acre, Brazil. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Common Name

  • Bolivia: marayaú. Brazil: marajá, marajá de cacho, marajá pupunha, maraja'i (Arawete), maraja 'y (Ka'apor), maria-ci (Guajá), maria-wa (Guajá), tucum bravo. Colombia: cachepai montañero, cubarra, maradai. Guyana: bango palm. Peru: ñejilla. Venezuela: caña negra, cubarro, komora (Yanomami). (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A



  • Stems cespitose, often forming large clumps by rhizomes, 3-6(-9) m tall, 3-6(-8) cm diam., spiny on internodes.
    Leaves 4-7; leaf spines somewhat clustered, yellowish or yellowish brown, black at base and apex, strongly flattened, spinulose and tomentose, to 4 cm long, dense on lateral surfaces of sheath and petiole, fewer on abaxial surface of rachis; sheath 30-60 cm long; ocrea to 15 cm long; petiole 10-70(-120) cm long; rachis 0.9-1.7 m long; pinnae (10-)23-34 per side, irregularly arranged in clusters of 2-5, spreading in different planes, linear-lanceolate, strongly plicate, with small spines on margins; middle pinnae 45-78 x 3.5-7cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 20-60 cm long, recurved, spiny; prophyll 10-40 cm long; peduncular bract 25-62(-105) cm long, sparsely to moderately covered with flattened, yellowish spines to 2 cm long; rachis (3-)8-15 cm long; rachillae 15-33, 15-30 cm long, densely covered at anthesis with brown, moniliform trichomes; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers 3.5-4.5 mm long, deciduous; sepal lobes 1-2 mm long; petals 3.54 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode small or absent; pistillate flowers to 3 mm long; calyx 2.5-3 mm long, tubular; corolla 2.5-3 mm long, tubular; staminodial ring adnate basally to corolla;fruits 1.3-1.7 cm diam., depressed-globose, purple-black, somewhat browntomentose; mesocarp juicy; endocarp depressed-oblong or depressed-globose, the sterile pores displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers free, numerous, with juice sacs attached; fruiting perianth with irregularly lobed calyx half as long as the irregularly lobed corolla, staminodial ring present. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

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