Iriartella setigera

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Iriartella (ihr-ee-ahr-TEHL-lah)
setigera (seh-tih-JEH-rah)
Scientific Classification
Genus: Iriartella (ihr-ee-ahr-TEHL-lah)
setigera (seh-tih-JEH-rah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Paxiubinha, Paxiubarana

Habitat and Distribution

Brazil North, Colombia, Guyana, and Venezuela. Tropical jungle, near the blackwater
All information copyright, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
streams of the Amazon Northwest, in southeastern Colombia and southern Venezuela. Not found in Central America.


A small understory palm with a solitary trunk but eventually clumping, 3-8 m tall and 2-4 cm in diameter, with a small spiny system of aerial roots. It has a sparse crown of up to 6 leaves, 1.2-1.5 m long, with 8-10 diamond shaped leaflets which have a velvety feel when touched. with a diameter of 1.5 to 4 cm. The inflorescence has up to 20 rachillae. The fruits are orange and darken as they mature, are 1.5 to 1 cm. Editing by edric.


Tropical conditions only; warm, sheltered and moist. Prefer sandy acidic soils. Seed is very slow and difficult to germinate.

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Iriartella: Generic name combining the genus name Iriartea (Very closely related.) with the diminutive suffix She = "small", meaning "little Iriartea". setigera : The specific epithet from the Latin meaning "bristle, stiff hairs."

Uses: Indigenous-The shaft of the fishing arrows is occasionally made from Iriartella setigera. Indians of the Vaupés region near the Brazilian border use of slender stems of Iriartella setigera and particularly Cuatrecasea spruceana for making their blowings canes or blowguns. The superbly accurate blowpipe, locally called serbatana, constructed from the trunk of the palm, Iriartella setigera. The macerated leaves are applied to the head to kill lice.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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