Astrocaryum G.F.W. Mey

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Arecaceae Status: Valid

Vegetative Morphology

Habit: Palms to 10-20 m tall, solitary, rarely caespitose or acaulescent.

Main axis: Stem with conspicuous leaf scars, large, flattened, black, caducous spines in forest understory species. Some species with spines grouped together in rings and persistent.

Leaves: Leaf rachis to 6 m long with black flat spines. Leaves with many pinnae, abaxially glaucous, the margins with short spines.

Reproductive Morphology

Inflorescence: Inflorescence bract to 1 m long.

Fruit: Fruit sessile, orange or brownish, with very small hair-like spines on the exocarp. Mesocarp fleshy, abundant, somewhat fibrous and sweet. Calyx persistent.

Infructescence: Infructescence to 80 cm.

Seeds: Seeds 1 per fruit with three pores on the apex.


Uses: Young leaves of some species are used to make handicrafts. Fruits are edible.

Distribution: Mexico and Guianas to Peru and Bolivia, to 650 m in elevation.