Bactris rhaphidacantha Wess.Boer, Indig. Palms Surin. : 93 (1965)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Brazil North present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
French Guiana present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Suriname present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Eastern Amazon region in Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil (Amapá); lowland rain forest on terra firme, at 100-550 m elevation. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Bactris rhaphidacantha is diagnosed by its short stem; regularly arranged, spreading in the same plane, linear pinnae; and filamentous rachillae. In southern French Guiana some specimens (e.g., de Granville 7109) have pinnae clustered proximally on the rachis, and thus approach B. acanthocarpa var. exscapa (which occurs in adjacent areas). Because inflorescences, flowers, and fr uits are similar, B. rhaphidacantha could possibly be included as a variety of B. acanthocarpa. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Common Name

  • French Guiana: koua 'hm ' (Oyampi) petit ouara (Creole), piritu (Trio), zagrinette, zagrinette forêt. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Stems solitary or cespitose, 0.3-1.5 m long, 5-8 cm diam., not spiny or with a few spines on internodes.
    Leaves 8-16, erect and forming a funnel; leaf spines black, terete or somewhat flattened, to 10 cm long, dense on sheath, fewer on lateral margins of petiole, mostly absent from rachis or scattered on abaxial surface; sheath 40-60 cm long; ocrea not seen; petiole 0.5-1.5 m long; rachis 1.4-3 m long; pinnae 25-40 per side, regularly arranged, spreading in the same plane, linear, long acuminate; middle pinnae 43-85 x 3-4 cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 10-20 cm long, recurved, not spiny; prophyll 8-17 cm long; peduncular bract 15-35 cm long, densely covered with black or brown spines; rachis 5-7 cm long; rachillae 25-40, filamentous, to 8 cm long, at anthesis densely covered with brown, 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 (immature) 2 mm long; sepal lobes 1.5 mm long; petals 2 mm long; stamens 4-7; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers to 3 mm long; calyx cupular, 1.5-3 mm long; corolla cupular, 2-3 mm long, tomentose; staminodes absent; fruits 1-1.2 cm diam., obovoid, shortly rostrate, orange-red, with deciduous, short black spinules; mesocarp starchy; endocarp turbinate, the sterile pores more or less equally spaced; endocarp fibers few or absent; fruiting perianth with small, glabrous, lobed calyx and larger, glabrous, lobed corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Materials Examined

  • SURINAME. Alalapadu, 8 Jul 1977, Moore et al. 10338 (BH), 8 Jul 1977, Moore et al. 10339 (BH); Tapanahoni River near confluence with Paloemeu River, 12 Apr 1963, Wessels Boer 1224 (BH).
    FRENCH GUIANA. Petit Saut, km 35, 5°5'N, 52°59'W, 14 Dec 1989, Billiet & Jadin 4804 (BR); Montagne de Kaw, 4°37'N, 52°15'W, 1 May 1992, Cremers & Feuillet 12972 (CAY); right bank of Yaroupi, 3 km from Saul Ouaimicouaré, 27 Apr 1970, de Granville 474 (CAY, NY); Fleuve Ouaqui, Degrad Somboto, 6 Jul 1973, de Granville 1736 (CAY, NY); Haul Mana, Saut Ananas, 14 Aug 1981, de Granville 4851 (CAY, K); Riviére Grande Ouaqui, 13 Ju1 1973, de Granville 4964 (CAY); Saül, 3°37'N, 53°12'W, 200-400 m, 16 Mar 1975, de Granville 5223 (CAY), 16 Apr 1975, de Granville 5250 (CAY), 13 Mar 1983, de Granville & Kahn 5413 (CAY, P), 7 Oct 1982, Mori et al. 15063 (CAY, NY), 19 Aug 1988, Mori et al. 19053 (NY); Haul Camopi, Mont Belvedere, 2 Dec 1984, de Granville 7109 (CAY); Gobaya Soula, 3°37'N, 53°58'W, 6 Jan 1989, de Granville 10418 (CAY, FTG, US); Station des Nouragues, l'Approuague basin, Arataye, 4°3'N, 52°42'W, 100 m, 10 Sep 1989, de Granville et al. 11137 (B, CAY, NY); near Cayenne, 25 Feb 1965, Oldeman 1169 (CAY), 60 km S of Cayenne, 7 Apr 1965, Oldeman 1237 (CAY, P); Piste de St. Elie, km 15.7, 1 Feb 1985, Prévost 1747 (CAY, NY).
    BRAZIL. AMAPÁ: Upper Jari, 2°28'N, 54°46'W, 550 m, 21 Aug 1993, de Granville et al. 12412 (CAY, US). (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


    A. Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae