| Euterpe (yoo-TEHR-peh) |
Napo, Peru. Photo by Dr. Jean-Christophe Pintaud/Palmweb.
Habitat and DistributionBelize, Bolivia, Brazil North, Central American Pacific Is., Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana,
Canopy palm. Stems solitary, or rarely clustered and then few together, to 20 m tall, 15-30 cm in diameter. Leaves to 4 m long; crownshaft yellowish green; petiole green, glabrous; pinnae numerous, regularly inserted, narrow, strongly pendulous, the central ones 50-85 cm long and 2-3 cm wide. Inflorescence erect, with axis 40-100 cm long; branches to 200, usually confined to the lower (abaxial) side of the rachis, 30-80 cm long, 3-5 mm in diameter, densely covered with whitish hairs. Fruits black, globose, about 1.5 cm in diameter. Endosperm homogeneous. Seedling leaves pinnately divided, the first ones with 2 pinnae on each side, appearing palmate. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Stems solitary or caespitose (growing in tufts or clumps), but then not forming large clumps, erect, 3-20 m tall. 4-23 cm in diam., gray, with a cone of roots visible at the base, bright red when young, these to 1 m long. Leaves 5-10 (-20) in the crown, spreading and somewhat arched; sheath 0.5-1.6 m long including a 1-3 cm long ligule, green, striped lighter green, or yellow, with scattered, appressed, fimbriate, black or reddish brown scales; petiole (0-) 12-57 cm long, adaxially densely covered with scales like those of sheath (but absent on young leaves), fewer scales abaxially; rachis 1.6-3.6 m long, with few to many raised, fimbriate, reddish brown scales adaxially especially near pinnae insertion; pinnae 43-91 per side, weakly to strongly pendulous to horizontal, with prominent midvein and 1-2 lateral veins on either side, the midvein with ramenta abaxially, usually punctate abaxially; basal pinna 46-70 x 0.2-1 cm; middle pinnae 60-88 x 1-3 cm; apical pinna 18-44 x 0.5-2 cm. Inflorescences ± horizontal at anthesis, becoming somewhat pendulous in fruit; peduncle 4-15 cm long, 2-4 cm in diam. at peduncular bract scar; prophyll 22-85 cm long, to 6 cm diam.; peduncular bract 23-80 cm long including a 2 cm long umbo, 8-10 cm diam., often with smaller bracts present distal to peduncular bract; rachis (8-)20-94 cm long; rachillae (24-) 200, 16-80 cm long at base, 18- 58 cm long at apex, 3-5 mm diam. at anthesis, 3-66 mm in diam. in fruit, arranged ± all round rachis or absent from adaxial, proximal part, densely covered with 0.1-0.5 mm long, stiff, stellate, brownish hairs; flowers in triads proximally, paired or solitary staminate flowers distally, occasionally an inflorescence all staminate; triad bracteole rounded or apiculate, to 2 mm long; first flower bracteole obscure, second and third flower bracteoles unequal, rounded, prominent, the largest 1-2 mm long; staminate flowers 3.5-5 mm long; sepals broadly ovate, blunt at the apex, 2- 3 mm long, keeled, scarcely pilose, ciliate; petals lanceolate, blunt at the apex, 3-5 mm long; stamens arranged on a short receptacle; filaments 1-2.5 mm long; anthers 2 mm long; pistillode 1.5-3 mm long, deeply trifid at the apex; pistillate flowers 2.5-4.5 mm long; sepals broadly ovate, 3 mm long, ± glabrous or with hairs on abaxial surface, ciliate; petals broadly ovate, 4 mm long. Fruits globose, 0.9-1.3 cm in diam., the stigmatic remains lateral; epicarp purple-black, minutely tuberculate; seeds globose; endosperm homogeneous; eophyll pinnate with very short rachis. (Gloria Galeano and A. Henderson)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
One of the most widespread species in the genus, Euterpe precatoria was divided by Henderson (1995) into two varieties. (Gloria Galeano and A. Henderson)/Palmweb.
Two varieties are recognised, both of which occur in Ecuador; Euterpe precatoria var. longivaginata=(Euterpe macrospadix), and Euterpe precatoria var. precatoria.
Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b
Comments and Curiosities
The mesocarp of this species is highly oily and rich flavor, making it very appetizing and consumed directly after cooking slightly, the fruit oil is also extracted (Ricker & Daly 1997 cited by Brown et al4) and a black dye for body decoration for ceremonies (Anderson 1977 cited by Brown et al4). The fruits of this plant and much like açaí (Euterpe oleracea) are edible and consumed as beverages, candy, and ice cream. In communities where the study was conducted by Brown and his colleagues, the main use of this species as a food source, reaping the fruits to consume as juice, chicha, "milk", or by products of this mass , followed, in the same degree of importance the medicinal use, for handicrafts and as a source for obtaining Mojojoi (Rhynchophorus palmarum). (From the Spanish).
Utensils: It is also important for building use for developing different cultural elements and tools for making household utensils and as a source of palm. Another use, rare but it was mentioned in some cases, the use of this palm for making cercas.3 In other regions, the stems are used extensively in the construction of houses and longhouses to walls to tables tables, shelves. Similarly, using the trunk for pulp and paper making spears to hunt animals (Ceron & Montalvo 1998 cited by Brown et al4). (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.
Medicinal: The roots are used as medicinal (Henderson2 cited by Brown et al4), especially against muscular pain and snake bites, are also used for the hair to grow well and keeps black. Prevents pregnant women lose their hair (Borchsenius et al. 19,984). The decoction of the leaves is used to relieve pain pecho.2 The leaves and tender roots are steeped and drunk to cure flu, vomitándose later (Ceron & Montalvo 19,984). The leaves are sometimes used for thatching houses (Borchsenius et al., 1998, Ceron 2003 cited by Brown et al4) Galeano1 also states that the buzz is consumed as palm. Ornamental: The handicrafts made with this acai seeds also have elements from other species, such as fiber and seed Canangucha Chambira, also may have elements from different animals (shells, tusks, feathers, scales) and / or other elements. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.
The Forest palm uses: Food, (Heart, fruits), house posts, thatch, hunting gear: bows, blowdart guns, spears, other: leaves—hats, traditional woven clothes, construction, medicine, and roofing. The constructors of houses choose the species based on the planned lifetime of the building, available labor, time, and the durability of the construction material. For making planking for floors and walls. Entire trunks occasionally used as house posts. The most common species used for flooring in the flood plain was Socratea exorrhiza, while Euterpe precatoria mainly serves for wallboards in both flood plain and terra firme communities. The only recorded leaf vegetable. Fruits are soaked in water until soft and the flesh is eaten.The fruits also may be used to prepare a refreshing drink. Aftersoaking the fruits in water overnight, the flesh is removed and the seeds are discarded. Water is then added to the pulp. Palmito. Beverage. Thatching. Walls. Fibres. Arts and crafts. Other. Medicinal: leaves as respiratory relief. Fiber are generally obtained from the leaf rachis of Attalea phalerata and Euterpe precatoria, and are utilized for the production of baskets. People are beginning to use it for beautifying roadways in the Iquitos region. The cabbage or palm hearts are extracted and eaten by the natives at Easter time. These hearts are also sold in the market place and are a favorite salad of tourists. The hair is washed with a decoction of smashed roots-it makes it grow well and stay black. Oil extracted from the fruit provides a women´s hair dressing. The split leaves make a durable thatching material for houses. Small parrots eat the fruits. Brooms are made from the fibers. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.
Ethnobotany: This palm is harvested for edible palm heart (the apex), and the trunk is used for many construction purposes. A liquid from the roots is used to treat malaria. In this region of the Amazon, use of the fruit is rare. A small export business that makes canned palm heart from huassaí has run for several years in Iquitos. Although this is the favorite type of palm heart eaten in the region, some people, such as the Aguaruna, will consume palm heart from almost any species of palm except huassaí.
Agroforestry: This single-stemmed palm grows well from discarded or planted seeds. Delicate roots can make transplanting seedlings difficult. Haussa’ grows quickly in both upland and seasonally flooded fields. The light, very small canopy makes it compatible for interplanting with almost any crop. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Borchsenius, F.1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.
Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson. Flora Neotropica. New York Botanical Garden.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.