| Astrocaryum (ahs-tro-kahr-EE-uhm) |
Habitat and DistributionAstrocaryum murumuru is found in Brazil North, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.
"Tall, usually solitary palm (sometimes suckering and sometimes trunkless) from South America - very spiny palm! Very long leaves up to 20' with white undersides- striking. But everything is spiny on this palm-even the seeds and flowers." (Geoff Stein).
A large, highly variable species that can be short and stemless thru to a tall, robust, clustering palm. It has an open conical shaped crown with large, flat leaves, and closely spaced leaflets, with dark green uppers, and silvery undersides. The large fruits are edible, and the seed kernel is a significant source of edible oil in Brazil, where it is gathered commercially. The kernel also produces a very rich extract which is used by the beauty industry for shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizing skin care products, The leaf fibers used locally for hammocks.
Caespitose palms; infructescence often pendulous; fruit up to 9 cm long, 4,5 cm broad; mesocarp very fleshy when ripe, 610 mm thick; corolla of the pistillate flower vase-shaped, or tubular often shallowly contracted at the middle or at the distal third (like a 8), large enough to encompass the proximal part of the stigmas. (scielo.org.pe) Editing by edric.
Requirements: consistently moist, but fast draining soil. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b
Comments and Curiosities
The calyx of the pistillate flower is glabrous, cup-shaped, shallowly tridentate, shorter than corolla, rarely hardly subequal, never covering it. Subsection Murumuru includes three species: Astrocaryum chonta, found from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia to the lower Ucayali river valley in Peru; Astrocaryum ulei, found from north of Bolivia to the southern bank of Rio Solimões in Brazil (Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia), and Astrocaryum murumuru, found in the Guianas and in the northeastern and central regions of the Amazon basin in Brazil (Amapa, Amazonas, Pará, Roraima, Rondônia, it reaches Acre westwards in the southern region). (scielo.org.pe)
Uses: The large fruits are edible. The leaf fibers used locally for hammocks. Muru Muru butter is pressed from the reddish orange fruits. Used in facial treatments. The seed kernel is a significant source of edible oil in Brazil, where it is gathered commercially. The kernel also produces a very rich extract which is used by the beauty industry for shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizing skin care products; "it's natural gloss brings a desirable shine to dry, damaged hair ".
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
All information translated from the French, edric.
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.