Dictyocaryum ptarianum

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ptarianum (tahr-ee-AHN-uhm)
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Machado-Minas Gerais-Brasil. 5 months later. Photo by Mauricio Caixeta.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dictyocaryum
ptarianum (tahr-ee-AHN-uhm)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary, occasionally caespitose.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Colombia: bombona paso. Peru: pona colorada.

Habitat and Distribution

Dictyocaryum ptarianum is found in Brazil North, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.

Jenero Herrera, Peru. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.


Stem solitary or occasionally cespitose, cylindrical, 10-15 (-20) m tall, 14-20 cm in diam., smooth; stilt roots to 1.2 m long, to 4 cm diam., brown, with blunt spines. Leaves 4-5, spreading; sheaths forming a compact crownshaft, 60-70 (-125) cm long, outer surface densely covered with simple, hyaline trichomes, glabrescent; petiole 25-30 cm long, 2-4.5 cm in diam., shallowly grooved adaxially, rounded abaxially, whitish-brown-tomentose; rachis 1.7-3 m long, ridged adaxially, rounded abaxially; pinnae 23-37 per side, subopposite, cuneate with entire margins and blunt praemorse apices, green and glabrous adaxially, gray-white-waxy abaxially with regularly scattered minute brown scales and with lines 3-5 mm wide of dense brown tomentum running parallel to the veins, split to the base into 2-8 stiff segments inserted at different angles and radiating in different planes; veins prominent abaxially, yellow, 1-several per pinna, sparsely covered with trichomes, especially near point of insertion; proximal pinna split into 1-3 segments, proximal segment to 70 cm long and 3 cm wide at mid-point; middle pinna split into 4-8 segments, proximal segment to 86 cm long and 3 cm wide at mid-point, distal segment 86-98 cm long and 8 cm wide; apical pinna entire, flabellate, 28 cm long, 9 cm wide at mid-point. Inflorescence pendulous and horn-shaped in bud, pendulous at anthesis and to 1.4 m long; peduncle terete, curved, 25-35 cm long, ca. 2 cm diam., at first densely brown-tomentose, glabrescent, at anthesis with prophyll and 8-10 peduncular bract scars; prophyll inserted at base of peduncle, caducous, ancipitous, 9-12 cm long, splitting api-cally; peduncular bracts 8-10, inserted 1-4 cm apart, the proximal 3 about 13-22 cm long, coriaceous, the distal remainder up to 90 cm long, woody, the most distal 2-3 incomplete; prophyll and peduncular bracts with moderate to dense covering on outside of hyaline or brown trichomes; rachis 20-30 cm long; rachillae 50-80, spirally inserted, cream-colored at anthesis, glabrous or with a moderate covering of branched short trichomes, with a proximal flattened sterile section to 5 cm long, proximal ones to 50 cm long and branched into 2-7 rachillae, distal ones to 40 cm long and unbranched, 2 mm in diam. at mid-point at anthesis (thickening to 3-4 mm in fruit), each subtended by a strongly cucullate bract to 3 cm long proximally to virtually absent distally; triads spirally arranged, to 3 mm apart, surrounded by a vestigial bract; flowers proximally in triads, distally staminate in pairs or solitary, cream-colored; staminate flowers 3.5-4 mm long; sepals ovate-deltoid, strongly gibbous, 1 x 1.5 mm, very shortly connate proximally, imbricate distally; petals ovate, 3 x 1.5 mm, free, valvate; stamens six; filaments 0.5 mm high, triangular; anthers 3 mm high, sub-basifixed, the-cae briefly free proximally; pistillode very short, 3-lobed; pollen with clavate-rugulate exine; pistillate flowers 2 mm long; sepals ovate-deltoid, gibbous, 1 x 2 mm, shortly connate proximally, imbricate distally, ciliate; petals widely ovate, 2 x 2 mm, imbricate proximally, valvate distally; staminodes six, dentiform, 0.5 mm high; stigmas sessile, triangular, 1 mm long, erect at anthesis; ovary 3-locular with one ovule developing, 1 mm high, glabrous; fruit more or less globose, 3-3.5 x 2-3 cm, stigmatic scat basal; epicatp smooth, yellowish-brown at maturity and splitting irregularly; mesocarp 3-4 mm thick, white; endocarp papery; seed globose, raphe branches reticulate, spreading; hilum rounded; embryo basal; eophyll bifid. (Henderson, A. 1990)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

The recent collections from lowland Colombia and Peru greatly extend the range of this species, and raise many questions about its former range. These lowland localities may represent relicts of a much wider range for the species. (Henderson, A. 1990)/Palmweb.

Dictyocaryum ptariense is most similar to D. fuscum, differing only in its smaller staminate flowers. (Henderson, A. 1990)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: The leaves are used for thatching, and the stems split and used to make walls and floors. (Henderson, A. 1990)/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).

Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae.

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

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