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Origin and Habitat: Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Pernanbuco and Sergipe)
Habitat: Atlantic coastal and lowland rainforest, gaps, forest margins or secondary forest in non inundated areas.
- Bactris ferruginea Burret
Bactris ferruginea Burret
Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 34: 222 (1934)
PORTUGUESE (Português): Tucum, Brejaubinha-de-espinoamarelo, Coquinho, Mané velho, Mané véio
Description: Bactris ferruginea is a small caespitose understory palm with a spiny trunk.
Trunk: Clustered, rarely solitary, about (2,5-)5(-10) m tall and (4-)5-8(-10) cm in diameter, spiny on internodes.
Crown: With (5-)7-8(-12) leaves spirally arranged and spreading.
Leaves: Pinnate. Petiole (20-)33-39(-88) cm long with spiny margins and concave convex in cross-section but with a fibrous leaf sheath 25-31 cm long; ocrea not seen; Rachis (1,1-)1,2-1,3(-2,4) m long. Pinnae (leaflets) (25-)33-38(-54) pairs sigmoid, irregularly arranged, distributed in clusters of 3-6 along the rachis in several planes. Middle pinnae (35-)38-62(-76) cm long, (2-)3,8-4,8(-8) cm wide. Sheath, petiole, and rachis densely covered with black, brown or (rarely) yellow somewhat clustered spines up to 6 cm long, in 3 longitudinal rows on petiole and usually fewer on rachis;
Inflorescences: Peduncle, recurved, not spiny (8-)16-23(-33) cm long with a (25-)30-35(-43) cm long rachis; rachillae (17-)38-42(-49) with a length of (8-)12-26(-29) cm long, at anthesis densely covered with moniliform trichomes;ì; Peduncular bract very large (30-)56-62(-75) cm long and with or without few, short, brown or yellow spines up to 1,5 cm long, including a beak of 1,5 cm and the expanded or inflated part of the bract measuring 39-43 cm long and 12-15 cm wide.
Flowers: Triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers 4-5 mm long; sepal lobes 1.5-2.5 mm long; petals 4-5 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers to 6 mm long; calyx cupular, 1 mm long; corolla tubular, 3-5 mm long; staminodes minute or absent;
Fruits: Globose or depressed-globose, briefly rostrate, 1,3-2 cm in diameter, purple-black.; mesocarp juicy; endocarp depressed-oblong, the pores displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers numerous, with juice sacs attached; fruiting perianth with minute calyx and truncate corolla, without staminodial ring.
Remarks: In the northern range of this species the leaf spines are black; in the southern part they are yellowish, and this form is recognised as Bactris ferruginea var. xanthacantha.
Bibliography: Major references
1) Andrew Henderson, Gloria Galeano, Rodrigo Bernal. Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton University Press, 01/giu/1997. Page 188.
2) Field Museum of Natural History Palmae of Bahia Brazil. Herbarium n. 028289 Bactris ferruginea determination by Larry R. Noblick 1989.
3) Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants World Checklist of Seed Plants (1, 2): 1 - 492.
4) Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms World Checklist of Palms: 1 - 223.
5) Oliveira-Filho, A.T. (2006). Catálogo das Árvores nativas de Minas Gerais Catálogo das Árvores nativas de Minas Gerais: 1 - 423.
6) Lorenzi, H., Noblick, L.R., Kahn, F. & Ferreira, E.2010. Brazilian Flora Arecaceae (Palms): 1 - 268 Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora LTDA, São Paulo, Brazil.
Cultivation and Propagation: This is an excellent understory palm adapt to tropical and subtropical climates in humid regions, specially along with rainforests and, once established, will grow quite fast and does well in cultivation.
Soil requirements: It has a fibrous root system and benefits from deep organic, acidic, soils that are fertile and well drained but thrives on wide range of tropical soils, like coastal marine alluvial clays, soils of volcanic origin, acid sands and other coastal alluviums and even in seasonally flooded areas and swamps. Waterlogged, highly lateritic, extremely sandy, stony or peaty soils should be avoided.
Watering: In cultivation they appreciates abundant waterings. During the summer or warmer months, water frequently to keep the soil from drying out.
Light: Will grow better sheltered , but tolerates morning sun. Seedlings like a more sheltered area.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is moderately salt tolerant, but does a lot better inland then it does on the coast.
Hardiness: It needs high temperatures and is suited for tropical or subtropical climate and seedling growth arrested below 15°C. They do not bear temperatures even if just close to 0 °C. Mean maximum temperature of 30-32°C and mean minimum of 21-24°C (USDA Zones 11-12).
Wind hardiness: Will grow better with slow wind.
Garden uses: It is rarely cultivated, but is an excellent landscaping palm if you can water it a lot.
Traditional uses: The leaf fibres are extracted into fishing lines. The leaves are used to cover roofs or in wickerwork.
Warning: Do not plant this palm where children play as the sharp spines are easily capable of breaking the skin, and protection should be worn when working around a Bactris ferruginea.
Propagation: Seeds or division.
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