Oenocarpus Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 21 (1823)

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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)B
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil West-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Perupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Trinidad-Tobagopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nine species ranging from Costa Rica and Panama to the Amazon and Orinoco Valleys in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Discussion

  • Jessenia was separated from Oenocarpus by its ruminate endosperm, discolorous leaflets and stamen number greater than six; there is now good evidence for its inclusion in Oenocarpus (Henderson 1999a). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Diagnosis

  • Moderate to very large, solitary or clustered pinnate-leaved palms from Central and South America, with distinctive inflorescences in the form of a horse’s tail. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Rain forest species found on sandy soil of terra firme areas, along river margins. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Common Name

  • Bacaba, seje palm, mille pesos palm, for local names see Balick (1985). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Etymology

  • Oinos — wine, karpos — fruit, in reference to use of the fruit to make a drink. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Uses

  • Important for pericarp oil; the mesocarp provides a creamy drink. The ‘cabbage’ is edible and good, and the trunk is used for construction and spears. For more details see Balick (1980, 1985). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Description

  • Moderate to massive, solitary or clustered, unarmed (except for sharp fibres of leaf sheaths), pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem erect, densely covered in fibrous leaf sheaths, when mature becoming bare except rarely (Oenocarpus circumtextus) fibrous network persistent, leaf scars smooth, flush with stem basally, swollen and prominent distally, a small mass of slender roots sometimes present basally. Leaves pinnate or entire-bifid, spirally arranged or distichous, suberect when young, becoming spreading; sheath tightly clasping but not forming a distinct crownshaft, splitting at least partially opposite the petiole, thick, leathery, lightly furrowed adaxially, glabrous or scaly abaxially, disintegrating marginally into masses of hair-like black or brown fibres and sometimes also fewer stout, sharp, knitting-needle-like fibres; petiole short, rarely elongate, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially; leaflets regularly arranged in one plane or irregularly clustered, broadly lanceolate, acute to tapering, single-fold, blade adaxially glabrous, sparsely to densely abaxially glabrous or covered with persistent, shining, pale, straw-coloured or brownish, membranous, orbicular to transversely elliptical or sickle-shaped or needle-like medifixed scales, or with scattered, whitish, waxy, sickle-shaped hairs, midrib largest but other intermediate veins also large, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences interfoliar in bud, becoming infrafoliar, hippuriform (shaped like a horse’s tail), protandrous, branched to 1 order laterally and abaxially, adaxial branches absent; peduncle short to elongate, flattened, tomentose; prophyll short, wide, adaxially flattened, 2-keeled, splitting abaxially, margins broadly toothed; peduncular bract much longer than the prophyll, terete, beaked, scaly; rachis longer than the peduncle but short, tapering, bearing spirally arranged, very small, slightly sunken, pointed to scalloped, thin bracts, adaxial ones abortive and evident only in young stages, lateral and abaxial bracts subtending rachillae; rachillae ± flexuous, pendulous, short to elongate, straight to slightly undulate, slender, tapering, bearing triads of flowers basally and pairs to single staminate flowers distally, rarely completely staminate, flowers borne in shallow depressions; rachilla bracts low, rounded with a short point, slightly sunken; floral bracteoles similar to rachilla bracts. Staminate flowers asymmetrical, pointed in bud; sepals 3, distinct, valvate, imbricate or briefly connate basally; petals 3, distinct, ovate, somewhat asymmetrical, valvate; stamens 6 or (7–8) 9–20, filaments terete, slender, straight or variously curved and bent, distinctly inflexed at the apex, anthers elongate, basally free and sagittate, rounded or blunt apically, dorsifixed, versatile, connective not extending above locules, latrorse; pistillode bifid or trifid. Pollen ellipsoidal, occasionally oblate triangular, with slight or obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus, occasionally, a trichotomosulcus; ectexine tectate, finely or coarsely perforate-rugulate, aperture margin finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 38–56 µm [6/9]. Pistillate flowers shorter than the staminate; sepals 3, distinct, suborbicular, imbricate, hooded; petals 3, distinct, imbricate except for valvate apices when young, otherwise like the sepals; staminodes tooth-like or lacking; gynoecium ovoid, briefly stalked, unilocular, uniovulate, style short, cylindrical, bearing 3 fleshy stigmas, reflexed at anthesis, papillose adaxially. Fruit ellipsoidal to globose, dark purple when ripe, perianth persistent, stigmatic remains apical to slightly eccentric; epicarp smooth or minutely pebbled, waxy, mesocarp fleshy, oily, with internal fibres adnate to and covering the seed, endocarp apparently lacking. Seed ovoid-ellipsoidal to globose, hilum basal, raphe lateral, branches parallel, indistinct, endosperm homogeneous and striate, or ruminate, with central cavity; embryo basal, very large, extending through the endosperm into central cavity. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 36. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Anatomy

  • Root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Fossil record

  • No generic records found. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Relationships

  • The monophyly of Oenocarpus has not been tested. The genus is resolved as sister to Neonicholsonia with moderate support (Baker et al. in review), or as sister to Prestoea (Henderson 1999a). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Taxonomic accounts

  • Balick (1980). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Use Record

  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Alimentación. (Ortiz, R., Uso, conocimiento y manejo de lagunos recursos naturales en el mundo Yucuna (Mirití-Paraná, Amazonas, Colombia).. 1994)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodOilsFruitsIndigenousYucunaColombia
    Human FoodBeveragesFruitsIndigenousYucunaColombia
    CulturalRitualFruitsIndigenousYucunaColombia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousYucunaColombia
    OtherN/AStemIndigenousYucunaColombia
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Edible fruit. (Phillips, O.L., The potential for harvesting fruits in tropical rainforests: new data from Amazonian Peru. 1993)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsMestizoN/APeru
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: El bacabón es tan frecuente como la bacaba y se utiliza de la misma forma. Sus frutos son algo mayores, por lo que proporcionan mayores cantidades de leche. (…). La bacaba y el bacabón se usan también para construir paredes. (…). El bacabón es la palma preferida para la construcción de bancos, debido al grosor de su tronco y a la consecuente anchura de los bancos resultantes. (Proctor, P., J. Pelham, B. Baum, C. Ely, M.A. Rogríguez-Girones, Expedición de la Universidad de Oxford a Bolivia. Investigación etnobotánica de las Palmae en el noroeste del departamento de Pando. 25 junio-7 de septiembre de 1992. Informe final: Secci...)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodBeveragesFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    ConstructionHousesStemNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Palma con frutos comestibles, se prepara "leche de pusuy" con el procedimiento ya descrito. El estipe es utilizado para sacar madera de mesones o "yaripa" para las casas. (Garzón, N.C., Aproximación etnobotánica en la comunidad Guayabero de Barrancion-Guaviare. 1985)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    Human FoodBeveragesFruitsIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousGuayaberoColombia
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Planta comestible recolectada. Parte comestible, corazón. (Chirif, A., Salud y nutrición en sociedades nativas. 1978)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    EnvironmentalAgroforestryEntire plantIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    Human FoodFoodEntire leafIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousAguarunaPeru
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Planta semi-cultivadas (protegidas). Parte comestible, hojas, frutos. (Chirif, A., Salud y nutrición en sociedades nativas. 1978)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    EnvironmentalAgroforestryEntire plantIndigenousAguarunaPeru
    Human FoodFoodEntire leafIndigenousAguarunaPeru
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: The mature fruits are used to prepare a sweet drink. After the fruits have been softened by soaking in water, the seeds are removed and discarded. Water is mixed with the pulp, and the mass is passed through a sieve. Sugar is added to the remaining liquid to complete the drink. The trunk of this palm is split and used for platforms, floors, and walls of houses. (Glenboski, L.L., The Ethnobotany Of The Tukuna Indians. 1983)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousTikunaColombia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousTikunaColombia
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Uso alimenticio. Frutos. (Descola, P., La selva culta- Simbolismo y praxis en la ecología de los Achuar. 1989)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousAchuarEcuador
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: Uso artesanal. Wuashimas y changuinas. (Santín Luna, F., Ethnobotany of the Communities of the upper Rio Nangaritza.. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticNot specifiedIndigenousShuarEcuador
  • Oenocarpus Mart.: While the trunks of several palms, notably Astrocaryum (jaja-sie) and Oenocarpus (bajowi) were most commonly used "by the ancestors" for posts,(...). (Alexiades, M.N., Ethnobotany of the Ese Ejja: plants, health, and change in an amazonian society. 1999)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    OtherN/AStemIndigenousEse EjjaPeru
    OtherN/AStemIndigenousEse EjjaBolivia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousEse EjjaBolivia
    ConstructionHousesStemIndigenousEse EjjaPeru
  • Jessenia H.Karst.: Al regresar a su casa introducen los frutos en una olla con agua, poniéndola al fuego hasta que esté tibia. (…). Algunos acostumbran a comer la pepa, raspando la carnosidad con los dientes, inmediatamente después de "madurar" el fruto. (…). Las alternativas de consumo son : 1) tomar el líquido resultante del proceso descrito, (…), 2) mezclar el líquido con fariña; 3) mezclarlo con almidón de yuca (cahuana de milpeso). (…). Esta bebida es ofrecida en la celebración de bailes de pescado (Wera y Waha). (…). A partir del milpeso se puede extraer también aceite. (…). Si bien en las correrías por el monte efectuadas en compañía de la pareja indígena con quien se estuvo trabajando, fueron identificados varios tipos de insectos como fuente de alimento, (…), la atención estuvo centrada en la obtención, consumo e intercambio de una especie particular: las larvas del escarabajo (Fam. Curculionidae) denominadas en español "mojojoi". (…). El de tamaño grande crece en la palma de milpeso seca; (…). (…). Ir la monte un día cualquier en busca de "mojojoi" es darle continuidad, a una situación creada intencionalmente. Se sebe exactamente a donde ir, ya que una palma de canangucho (Mauritia flexuosa) o del milpeso (Jessenia sp.) ha sido tumbada cuatro meses antes. (Ortiz, R., Uso, conocimiento y manejo de lagunos recursos naturales en el mundo Yucuna (Mirití-Paraná, Amazonas, Colombia).. 1994 (as Jessenia H.Karst.))
  • Jessenia H.Karst.: Crop in garden of household. (Salick, J., Ecological basis of Amuesha agriculture, Peruvian upper Amazon. 1989 (as Jessenia H.Karst.))
  • Jessenia H.Karst.: Other fruit recorded in Puerto Méndez included ja´ru (Jessenia sp.), (...). (Chicchon, A., Chimane resource use and market involvement in The Beni Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia. 1992 (as Jessenia H.Karst.))
  • Jessenia H.Karst.: The dead trunks of all palm trees, including Ireartea, Euterpe, Mauritia, and Jessenia, all attract palm weevils. (Alexiades, M.N., Ethnobotany of the Ese Ejja: plants, health, and change in an amazonian society. 1999 (as Jessenia H.Karst.))

Bibliography

A. J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae