Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Bactris gasipaes

H.B.K., Nov. Gen. & Sp.1:302.1816

Gulielma gasipaes (H.B.K.) Bailey; G. utilis Oerst.

Pejibaye palm, Pixbá

Monoecious tree, 5-20 m tall; trunk solitary or clustered, 10-15 cm diam, the internodes ca 20 cm long, densely armed with spines to 10 cm long. Leaves irregularly pin­nate, to 3 m long; rachis 2 m long or more, sparsely armed; leaflets to 120 pairs, in clusters of 4 each, stagger­-angled, 50-60 cm long, ca 3 cm wide, sparsely short­-pilose on underside of veins, the margins entire or very sparsely setose, the cross-veins prominent. Inner spathe woody, less than 70 cm long, finely tomentose and armed with spines ca 1 cm long; spadix 30 cm long above branches; peduncle unarmed; rachis short; rachillae 25-30, minutely ferruginous-puberulent, 20-30 cm long, densely flowered, the pistillate flowers interspersed among the staminate ones, often associated with staminate flowers in triads, the flowers subtended by short distinct bracteoles; staminate flowers white, 4-5 mm long, broad and flat at apex, puberulent as on rachillae; petals 3, stout, concave, acute at apex; floral envelope truncate; 8-10 mm long, ca 9 mm wide, the flowers weakly sunken. Fruits orange-red, ovoid, to ca 5 cm long; seed 1. Croat 11798, 14479.

Cultivated at the Laboratory Clearing. Flowers in the late dry and early rainy seasons. The fruits mature in the rainy season. The plant at the Laboratory Clearing flow­ered in mid-May, and though the fruits developed nor­mally for a time, they all fell off without ripening before August.

Similar to Astrocaryum standleyanum, but distin­guished by the smaller spathe and spadix. Widely cultivated in Central America and northern South America. In Panama, known from low elevations in very wet regions (Holdridge,1970); few collections exist, but the species is expected to occur throughout Panama and is perhaps in all provinces.


Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Bactris gasipaes
  • Bactris gasipaes
  • Bactris gasipaes
  • Bactris gasipaes Fruit Leaf