Ceroxylon echinulatum

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Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
CeDSC 0225.jpg
Mindo, Ecuador. Photo by Jake Kloepfer
Scientific Classification
Genus: Ceroxylon (seh-ROKS-ih-lon)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Ramito, Palma de Ramo, Palma Real, Pumbo (Ecuador).

Habitat and Distribution

Ceroxylon echinulatum is found in the Western and eastern Andes of Ecuador, and
Ecuador. Ceroxylon alpinum subsp. ecuadorense (This species now includes the former C. alpinum subsp. ecuadorense). Photo-AAU palm archive/Palmweb.
Eastern Andes in Peru, in humid premontane and lower montane forest, at 1600-2200 m, in pastures, coffee plantations, crop plots, and remnant forests. It forms populations of hundreds of individuals and apparently it was very abundant in the past. On the eastern Andes of Ecuador there are still extensive populations, especially of old individuals that are left standing in the middle of pastures, but regeneration is usually very abundant near forest patches left along streams. (Maria Jose Sanin and Gloria Galeano. 2011)/Palmweb.


Canopy palm. Stem solitary, 10-25 m tall, 20-30 cm in diameter, usually grey, more rarely white with black leaf scars. Leaves to 4.5 m long; pinnae 75-90 on each side, regularly inserted in one plane, pendulous, the central ones 85-105 cm long and 3-5 cm wide, below with a thick, white to light brown, waxy tomentum. Inflorescences erect to arching, curved in fruit, to 250 cm long, branched 3 times. Fruit globose, 1-2 cm in diameter, finely warty, green, turning orange-red at maturity. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

Conservation: Ceroxylon echinulatum was considered, according to the IUCN, Vulnerable in Ecuador, mainly due to deforestation and the cutting of young leaves for Palm Sunday (Borchsenius & Skov 1999, Valencia et al. 2000). Concerning the Western populations of this species, Svenning & Balslev (1998) have mentioned that although it is common in some areas, the survival of this species is threatened by the deforestation of its natural habitat. Pintaud & Anthelme (2008) consider that the destructive use of the stems of this species for house and fence construction, along with habitat loss due to forest clearing, is severely diminishing natural populations. These authors report the use of this species in agroforestry systems and its cultivation for wood extraction as a sustainable alternative that is already being implemented in the Upper Urumba Valley of northern Peru. (Maria Jose Sanin and Gloria Galeano. 2011)/Palmweb.

External Links


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).

Borchsenius, F. 1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.

Maria Jose Sanin & Gloria Geleano in Phytotaxa 34 (2011). A revision of the Andean wax palms, Ceroxylon (Arecaceae).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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