Bactris cuspidata Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 101 (1826)

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Central Amazon region in Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil (Amazonas, Para); lowland rain forest on terra firme, at 250-780 m elevation. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Lowland rain forest on terrafirme, at 250-780 m elevation (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Bactris cuspidata is diagnosed by its 1-1.5 m tall, 6-8 mm diameter stem, pistillate flowers with the calyx 0.2-1 mm long and densely spinulose corolla 2-3.5 mm long, and orange-red fruits 6-7 mm in diameter. Synonymy was established by Henderson (1995). Bactris floccosa, included here as a synonym, differs somewhat in its pistillate corolla, and may infact be a distinct taxon. There are few collections attributable to this putative taxon, and these are scattered over a wide area (the type is reported from the Rio Japurá, outside the range of the other specimens). Thus, as understood here, B. cuspidata is rather heterogeneous. Populations from French Guiana have brown-tomentose petioles and pilose pinnae, whereas those from the Amazon valley have white-tomentose petioles and non-pilose pinnae. It has frequently been confused in the past with pinnate-leafed forms of B.simplicifrons. Many more collections are needed to better understand this species. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


  • Stems cespitose, 1-1.5 m tall, 6-8 mm diam.
    Leaves 4-5; leaf spines scattered, black, somewhat flattened , to 2 cm long, moderate to dense on sheath and petiole, usually absent from rachis; sheath 13-17 cm long, sheath, petiole, and rachis whitish or brownish tomentose; ocrea to 2 cm long; petiole 35-40 cm long; rachis 30-46 cm long; pinnae 6-13 per side, irregularly arranged in distant clusters, linear-lanceolateto sigmoid or ellipsoid, cuspidate, glabrous orsparsely pilose abaxially to densely pilose on both surfaces; 14-25 x 2-5 cm.
    Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 4-6 cm long, strongly recurved, spiny; prophyll to 8 cm long; peduncular bract 9-12 cm long, densely covered with easily removed, black, soft, straight spines to 1 cm long; rachis absent; rachillae 2-8, 2.5-3.5 cm long, at anthesis densely covered with short, flexuous, whitish trichomes intermixed with fewer, longer, brown spinules; triads regularly arranged but with a few paired staminate flowers intermixed; staminate flowers to 3 mm long; sepal lobes to 0.5 mm long; petals to 3 mm long; stamens 5; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 2-3.5 mm long; calyx annular, 0.2-1 mm long; corolla tubular, 2-3.5mm long, densely spinulose; staminodes absent; fruits 6-7 mm diam., globose to obovoid, rostrate, orange-red; mesocarp starchy; endocarp turbinate, the pores equidistant; endocarp fibers few; fruiting calyx not seen. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A

Materials Examined

  • SURINAME. Haut Litany, 2°31'N. 54°45'W, 250 m, 2 Aug 1993, de Granville et al. 11991 (NY, US).
    FRENCH GUIANA. Saül , 3°37'N, 53°12'W, 17 Dec 1970, de Granville 736 (CAY, P), 2 Jan 1988, Genty et al. 63160 (CAY), 21 Jun 1988, Prance et al 30655 (CAY, K, NY, US); Mont Atachi Bacca, 3°33'N, 53°55'W, 420 m, 5 Mar 1971, de Granville 132 (CAY), 10 Jan 1989, de Gratville et al. 10554 (CAY, FTG), 20 Jan 1989, de Granville 10821 (B, CAY, FTG, US); Tumuc Humac. 27 Aug 1972, de Granville 1421 (CAY); Montagne Bellevue d'Inini, 780 m 17 Aug 1985, de Granville 7623 (AAU, CAY, K, MO, NY, P); Station de Nouragues, basin of I'Approuague, Arataye, 4°3'N, 52°42'W, 3 Aug 1989, de Granville et al 10995 (CAY).
    BRAZIL. AMAZONAS: Río Maués about 30 miles above Conceicão, 5 May 1874, Trail 879/XLIV (K).
    PARÁ: km 20 on BR 230, S of Altamira, 31 Oct 1977, Balick et al. 907 (NY); Santarém. Alter do Chão, 2 Jan 1992, Pardini & Novaes 73 (INPA, NY, SPF); Samaruma, Rio Tapajos, 13 Jan 1874, Trail 850 (K); Aramaanahy, Rio Tapajos, 10 Jan 1874, Trail 851/VI (BM, K); Belém, 4 Mar 1875, Trail 852/CCXXIV (BM, K, NY, US); Lake of Faro, 11 Apr 1874, Trail 853/XXXV (BM, K). (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)A


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