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Bactris gasipaesKunthBactris gasipaes
Common Name: Peach Palm, Pejibaye

PhylumClassOrderFamilyGenusSpecies
Tracheophyta LiliopsidaArecalesArecaceaeBactrisgasipaes
Habitat
This palm tree usually grows on the edges of primary forests and is present between sea level and up to an altitude of 1200m.
Distribution
This palm is reported from Central America, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Amazonian Brazil.
Natural History Notes
The Peach Palm is originated from tropical America. The oldest archaeological evidence of cultivation is from Costa Rica and dates from 2300 to 1700 B.C. Indigenous populations have always praised this palm for its nutritional content rich in vitamin A and energy. It contains also twice as much protein as the banana. Pejibaye is not eaten raw but is rather cooked in salty water and cooled down and often served with mayonnaise. The heart of the palm, called “palmito”, is obtained from the new shoots and is a delicacy often eaten in salads.
Bactris gasipaes has the commercial advantage of growing fast and the first harvest can be from 18 to 24 months after planting. The fruit is harvested twice a year and can provide 13 bunches of fruit, each of about 12 kg, per harvest.
Characteristics
A healthy tree can live for 75 years and can reach a height of 20 m and above. It is a multi-stemmed tree. We can note the presence of spines on the internodes of the stems (regions between the leaves) and on the leaf cover. Those spines can reach a length of 5 cm. The leaves are compound and can be up to 2.5 m long and are divided into small leaflets. Each stem can contain up to 9 clusters of flower. The staminate (flower producing pollen) and the pistillate (flower producing ovule) are produced within the same flower cluster, but there are more staminate flowers than pistillate flowers present in the cluster. The fruit of the Peach Palm is called Pejibaye and is generally dark red or yellow when it reaches maturity. It has a diameter of 5 cm and contains a single seed, but sometimes it can be seedless.
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByMarianne Akers, Rolando Perez
LocalityIsla Colón, Isla Popa, mainland
Compiled by
Zoe Joly-Lopez; Rebecca Rissanen
Images
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes
By: Enrique Moreno, David Roubik
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes
By: Enrique Moreno, David Roubik
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes
Bactris gasipaes Fruit Leaf
Bactris gasipaes Fruit Leaf
Map
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coordinates
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Links
Reference
Bermejo, J.E.H. and J. Leon. 1994. Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective. FAO Plant Production and protection Series 26. Rome, Italy.

Samson, J. A. 1986. Tropical fruits. Second Edition. Longman Scientific & Technical. New York. 335 p.

Sancho, Ellen and Marcia. Baraona. 1999. Frutas del tropico: Guía fotográfica; Fruits of the tropics: Photographic guide. E. Sancho B. San José. 64 p.
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