Bactris killipii Burret, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 34: 175 (1933)

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Central and western Amazon region of Colombia (Amazonas, Vaupes), Peru (Amazonas, Loreto, Pasco), and Brazil (Amazonas)
Lowland rain forest on terrafirme at 100-600 m elevation (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Bactris killipii is diagnosed by its lack of spines (except on pinna apices), elongate petioles, and contracted rachises, strongly plicate blades, and erect inflorescences with 1 rachilla. Wessels Boer (1988) placed it in synonymy under B. leutzelburgii, itself separated by him from B. simplicifrons. Specimens from the western part of the range have pitted and grooved endocarps and more elongate rachises; specimens from the eastern part of the range have smooth endocarps and contracted rachises. This species is unusual among Bactris in that, after anthesis, the peduncular bract closes again around the developing fruits. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Common Name

  • Brazil: marajá. Peru: ñejilla, palmicha, uwinim. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Stems solitary or cespitose, 10-60 cm tall, 1-1.5 cm diam., not spiny.
    Leaves 6-10, stiffly erect; leaf spines absent (except for spinules at apex of pinnae); sheath 10-12 cm long, sheath, petiole, and rachis densely reddish brown-tomentose; ocrea to 3 cm long; petiole 0.2-1 m long; rachis 6-22 cm long; blade simple (less often pinnate with 2-4 pinnae per side), deeply bifid, stiff and strongly plicate, with small spinules on margins apically; lobes 30-60 cm long, 6-11cm wide.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 15-19 cm long, straight, not spiny; prophyll 6-8 cm long; peduncular bract 18-24 cm long, not spiny, densely whitish brown-tomentose, glabrescent, opening at anthesis and then closing again around developing fruits; rachilla 1, 4-4.5 cm long, at anthesis densely covered with flexuous trichomes; triads regularly arranged; staminate flowers 4-6 mm long, deciduous; sepal lobes 0.7-1 mm long; petals 4-6 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode small or absent; pistillate flowers 2.5-3 mm long; calyx tubular, 2.5-3 mm long; corolla tubular, 2-2.5 mm long; staminodes absent;fruits 1.4-1.5 x 0.8-1 cm, globose to ellipsoid, orange-red; mesocarp starchy; endocarp obovoid, pitted and grooved or smooth, the sterile pores displaced longitudinally, the fertile pore displaced latitudinally; endocarp fibers lacking; fruiting perianth with deeply 3-lobed calyx equal to the deeply 3-lobed corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Use Record

  • Bactris killipii Burret: Sirve para sacar grillo con fibra para carnada. (Kronik, J. et al. 1999: Fééjahisuu. Palmas de los Nietos de la Tierra y Montaña Verde del Centro)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingNot specifiedIndigenousMuinaneColombia


    A. Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000