Bactris pliniana Granv. & A.J.Hend., Brittonia 46: 147 (1994)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Brazil North present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A
French Guiana present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A
Guyana present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A
Suriname present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A
Guianas and Brazil (Amapá, Pará).


  • Lowland rain forest in low, swampy areas at low elevations.


  • Bactris pliniana is diagnosed by its oblanceolate to sigmoid pinnae, filamentous, spinulose rachillae, spinulose pistillate corolla, and broadly obovoid, bright orange, densely spinulose fruits 1.2-2 cm diameter. De Granville & Henderson (1994) give further discussion of this species. Several specimens (de Granville 1113, de Granville & Cremers 13201, and Cremers & Gautier 11978) have simple leaves.

Common Name

  • Brazil: marajá. Suriname: hanaimaka, kiskismaka.


  • Stems cespitose or sometimes solitary, to 2 m tall, 2-4 cm diam., spiny on internodes. Leaves ca. 6; leaf spines scattered, black, somewhat flattened, to 4 cm long, few (rarely dense) on sheath, petiole, and rachis; sheath 20-55 cm long; ocrea to 10 cm long; petiole 0.6-1.3 m long; rachis 1.3-1.8 m long; pinnae 16-25 per side (rarely leaf simple), irregularly arranged in clusters of 2-7, spreading in different planes, oblanceolate to sigmoid; middle pinnae 25-42 x 3.5-5 cm. Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 10-15 cm long, recurved, sparsely spiny or spinulose; prophyll 8-13 cm long; peduncular bract 23-25 cm long, densely covered with dark brown or yellowish, soft spines to 1 cm long; rachis ca. 2.5 cm long; rachillae 20-60, 5-15 cm long, filamentous, spinulose, at anthesis covered with brown or white, moniliform trichomes; triads more or less regularly arranged (but often with solitary staminate flowers interspersed) on proximal ca. half or more of rachillae, and there tending to be absent from adaxial side of rachillae (paired or solitary staminate flowers only on distal ca. half of rachillae); staminate flowers 2-3 mm long; sepal lobes 0.5 mm long; petals 2-3 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 3-5 mm long; calyx cupular, ca. 1 mm long; corolla tubular, 3-5 mm long, spinulose; fruits 1.2-2 cm diam., broadly obovoid, bright orange, densely spinulose; mesocarp starchy; endocarp turbinate, the sterile pores displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers few; fruiting perianth with glabrous, lobed calyx shorter than the spinulose, lobed corolla, without staminodial ring.


    A. World Checklist of Arecaceae