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 Bactris subsp. var.  
Pupunha (Bactris gasipaes) 11.jpg
Habit: palm-cycad
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Features: evergreen
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Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Arecaceae > Bactris var. , Jacq.

Bactris is a genus of about 240 species in the palm family, Arecaceae, native to Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They are trees growing to 4-20 m tall. The leaves are up to 5 m long, and pinnate with numerous leaflets. The fruit is a drupe, 2-6 cm long, edible in some species.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Bactris (Greek, baktron, cane; the young stems used for walking-sticks). Palmaceae, tribe Bactrideae. Usually low palms, very rarely entirely spineless.

Stems solitary or fasciculate, ringed, spiny or smooth, sprouting from the roots: Lvs. terminal or scattering, equally or unequally pinnatisect, glabrous or pubescent; segms. sparse or aggregated, or more or less imperfectly connate, forming a bind blade, acute or rarely obtuse at the apex, the ciliate margins recurved at the base; petiole short or long; sheath long, spiny: spadices sessile or pedunculate, perforating the lf.- sheaths; spathes 2, the lower short,, open at the apex, the upper coriaceous or woody, exceeding the spadix, or fusiform, ventrally dehiscent, smooth, bristly or spiny; bracts persistent: fls. small or medium, pale yellow or greenish: fr. small, green, ovoid or globose.— Species 90. Trop. Amer.

These are ornamental palms, but little grown on account of the spines. The fruits of B. major are used extensively in South America for food.

The cultivation of bactris is easy if it is grown in a warmhouse, with a range of temperature from 60° to 80°, and given plenty of water. Frequent syringing is advisable. It thrives best in a mixture of loam, two parts; leaf-mold, one part; well-rotted cow-manure, one part. The young plants are very decorative, but in age most of the species become spindly.

Propagation is by suckers which grow freely; rarely by seeds, which are hard to get.

B. aurantiaca, Hon., is a "pinnate palm from Mex., dwarf and spiny but beautiful." The name is unknown in botanical literature. —B. caryotaefolia. Mart., from Brazil, with wedge-shaped 3-lobed pinnae, has been catalogued; also B. utilis, Benth. & Hook. (Guilieima utilis, Oerst.), from Costa Rica, with spiny petioles and young lvs.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.




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Selected species



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