|Astrocaryum subsp. var.|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Astrocaryum (Greek, astron, star, and karyon, nut; referring to star-like arrangement of the fruits). Palmaceae, tribe Bactrideae. Spiny palms, stemless or with a short, or tall, ringed caudex.
Leaves terminal, pinnately parted; segms. approximate, equidistant or fasciculate, lanceolate-acuminate or attenuate to the obliquely truncate apex, plicate, whitish beneath, the terminal ones free or confluent, the spiny margins recurved at the base; petiole very short; sheath short, open, the spines of nearly all parts of the plant, in some cases, nearly a foot long: spadices short or long, the finely divided branches pendulous, thickened at the base, thence very slender, long, naked, the floriferous naked basal portion, as it were, pedunculate; spathes 2, the lower one membranous, deciduous, the upper fusiform, coriaceous or woody, open on the ventral side, persistent; bracts of the female fls. broad, imbricated like the bractlets; pistillate fls. with a stipitate male one on either side: fr. rather large, ovoid or subglobose, beaked, smooth .or spiny, red or orange.—Species 30. Trop. Amer.
Astrocaryums are elegant palms of medium height, very suitable for moderate-sized conservatories. A. Murumuru, A. mexicanum and A. argenteum are the kinds most commonly met with in collections. The leaves are pinnate, spiny on both sides, even in very young plants, and in small plants, at least in some of the species, the segments are narrow, four or five pairs of these alternating with two very broad ones. A. argenteum has the under surfaces of the leaves of a much lighter color than the others.
In a young state, the plants require the temperature of the stove, and after attaining the height of a few feet they may be best grown in a warmhouse, and given plenty of water; also a humid atmosphere. Specimens 8 to 10 feet high fruit freely.
Propagation is by seeds, which are slow in germinating. The soil in which they are sown should be changed occasionally, to prevent it from becoming sour. Be careful not to overpot, or the fleshy roots will decay. G.C. II. 22:522. See Palms.
A. granatense, Hort., is an unidentified trade name.
Pests and diseases
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963