Bactris glaucescens Drude, Fl. Bras. 3(2): 345 (1881)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil West-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Paraguaypresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Southwestern Amazon region in Brazil (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondônia, and possibly also Bahia and Goiás), Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz), and northeastern Paraguay (Alto Paráguay, Amambay, Concepción, San Pedro). (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A



  • Bactris glaucescens is diagnosed by its scattered or somewhat clustered leaf spines to 10 cm long, and densely whitish brown-Iepidote abaxial pinnae surface. Synonymy was established in part by Henderson (1995). Henderson et al. (1995) listed B. tucum as an uncertain name, and included B. anisitsii and B. glaucescens var. melanacantha in synonymy under B. setosa. Bactris tucum and B. glaucescens var. melanacantha are, however, here included with some reservation. The type localities (neither of which is mapped) are close to one another, but far to the northeast of other known collections of B. glaucescens. The type locality of B. tucum is apparently now under water, through damming of the Rio Sao Francisco.
    Bactris glaucescens is similar morphologically to two species; B. bidentula in the Amazon region and B. vulgaris in the Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil. It differs from B. bidentula in its much longer leaf spines, and would have been included there except for the geographic separation of the two. It differs from B. vulgaris in its pinnae that are green abaxially. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Common Name


  • Stems cespitose, 1.5-4 m tall, 3-4 cm diam., with rings of spines on nodes.
    Leaves 4-16; leaf spines scattered or somewhat clustered, black, terete or slightly flattened, to 1 cm long, interspersed with spines to 10 cm long, short and dense on sheath, longer on lateral surfaces of petiole and abaxial and adaxial surface of rachis; sheath 26-30 cm long, fibrous at apex, sheath, petiole, and rachis whitish tomentose, glabrescent; ocrea to 10 cm long; petiole 8-45 cm long; rachis 56-86 cm long; pinnae 26-45 per side, irregularly arranged in clusters of 2-6, stiffly spreading in different planes, oblanceolate, briefly bifid at the apex, whitish brown-Iepidote abaxially, with few spines on margins; middle pinnae 16-32 x 2-2.5 cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 8-28 cm long, straight, not spiny or sparsely spiny; prophyll 9-18 cm long; peduncular bract 22-30 cm long, whitish tomentose, moderately covered with straight, black spines to 1 cm long; rachis 3-8 cm long; rachillae 32-42,12-14 cm long, at anthesis densely covered with moniliform trichomes; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers 3-4 mm long; sepal lobes to 1 mm long; petals 3-4 mm long; stamens 5-6; pistillode small or absent; pistillate flowers 2.5-3.5 mm long; calyx cupular, 0.5-1 mm long; corolla tubular, 2-3 mm long; staminodes 6;fruits 1.2-1.5 cm diam., depressed-globose, rostrate, purpleblack; mesocarp juicy; endocarp depressed-oblong, the sterile pores markedly displaced longitudinally to one end of endocarp; endocarp fibers free, numerous, with juice sacs attached; fruiting perianth with cupular, entire margined calyx and tubular, 3-lobed corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

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