Bactris gasipaes

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 Bactris gasipaes subsp. var.  
Bactris gasipaes palm
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Arecaceae > Bactris gasipaes var. , Kunth.

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Bactris gasipaes is a species of palm native to the tropical forests of the South and Central America. It is a palm which can typically grow to 20 m or taller, with pinnate leaves 3 m long on a 1 m long petiole. The fruit is a drupe with an edible pulp surrounding the single seed, 4-6 cm long and 3-5 cm broad. The rind (epicarp) of this wild palm can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe depending on the variety of the palm.

B. gasipaes fruits

B. gasipaes is well known by the native populations where it usually grows up, and they having been used for centuries as food. They frequently eat the fruit stewed in salted water. However, it may be peeled and dressed with salt and honey, used to make compotes and jellies, or also used to make flour and edible oil.

Many species of birds feed on this wild palm, notably macaws, parrots and parakeets, all members of the family Psittacidae. Some of these are endemic species, which are in danger of extinction.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Bactris gasipaes, HBK. (Guilielma speciosa, Mart.). St. about 60 ft. high, single or cespitose, with rings of subulate-compressed black spines, 1 in. long, the rings about as far apart as the diam. of the st.: Lvs. 6 ft. long, curving; segms. dark green above, pale green below, very numerous, approximate, 1½ ft. long, 1¼ in. wide, linear-lanceolate, long-acuminate, bristly or minutely prickly along the margins: fr. orange or reddish, nearly 2 in. long, ovoid. Lower Amazon.

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Pests and diseases

Pest Susceptibility

Mite (Tetranychus mexicanus), ant (Atta spp.), (Rhychophorus palmarum), (Strategus aloeus).

Disease Susceptibility

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloesporioides), ascomycotic fungi (Helminthosporium sp.), (Phytophthora sp.), Mycosphaerella leaf spot disease (Mycosphaerella sp.), brown rot (Monilia sp.).




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