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Origin and Habitat: WC. Brazil (Southern America)
Habitat: Southern drier periphery of the Amazon basin.
- Astrocaryum echinatum Barb.Rodr.
PORTUGUESE (Português): Tucum vermelho (Brazil)
Description: Astrocaryum echinatum is a pleonanthic and monoecious solitary palm that flowers repeatedly over the course of its lifespan.
Leaves: Pinnately compound in a feather-like or fern-like pattern. Pinnae (leaflets) markedly curved downwards.
flowers: These palms have separate male and female flowers, but individuals plants bear both types of flowers. Pistillate flowers up to 3 at the base of the rachilla. Peduncular bract curved downwards, dark rusty tomentose.
Fruit: Oval, 4,2 cm long, 3,5 cm broad.
Cultivation and Propagation: This is a rare palm mainly cultivated by specialist palm growers and botanical gardens in tropical countries, but still scarcely known in cultivation. It is slow growing, especially as a seedling, but once established will grow quite fast.
Soil requirements: It is not particular for the soil, provided perfectly draining and fertile even if it prefers the alkaline or neutral ones. However it is widely adaptable, but do better when grown in nutrient-rich soils with regular watering. Avoid those soils that are soggy.
Watering: It may resist to short drought periods, but it profits of regular watering especially in the warmest periods. Don't let sit in water.
Light: It adapts well to full sun or half sun, but seems to prefer some shade until trunking.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements. It is subject to potassium deficiency.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It does better inland then it does on the coast.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 11-12. Close to freezing temperatures just for a very short time can kill this palm. Under cold conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, well wrapped up, and possibly provide additional heat.
Wind hardiness: It can tolerate heat and moderately windy conditions.
Ornamental use: It is an interesting palms of ornamental and landscape value due to the robust stems and the thick top with elegant fronds leaves; ideal wide gardens in the tropical climate zones.
Disease & Pests: It is quite resistant to pests but may require regular fertilization to prevent yellowing caused by potassium deficiencies; protect against frost.
Propagation: It reproduces by seed which germinates in 2-3 months; the growth initially is rather slow. The seeds germinate very easily when fresh. If not properly treated, the seed does not have long shelf life.
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