Syagrus sancona

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Syagrus (sih-AHG-ruhs)
sancona (san-KONA)
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Cooper City FL. Photo by Kyle Wicomb
Scientific Classification
Genus: Syagrus (sih-AHG-ruhs)
sancona (san-KONA)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Syagrus sancona is found in Western South America, Bolivia, Brazil North,
Medellin, Columbia. (1,500 Mts. or 5,000 feet above see level), photos by Jeff
Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. often in seasonal forest. Its ecology in Ecuador is quite remarkable: it occurs in dry forest in West Ecuador, but in wet forest in East Ecuador. In Brazil in the state of Acre , in the Amazon rainforest in mainland areas of floodplain . It's also distributed throughout the region andina, up to 1,200 m altitude and in lower areas adjacent.


Subcanopy or canopy palm. Stem solitary, 10-30 m tall and 20-35 cm in diameter. Leaves 3.5-4.5 m long; pinnae 150-170 on each side, inserted in groups of 2-7 and spreading in different planes, the central ones 60-100 cm long and 3.5-5 cm wide. Crown holds about 8-10 leaves. Inflorescence 1-1.5 m long, with 100-150 simple, spreading branches, to 65 cm long. Male flowers about 10 mm long. Female flowers 5-10 mm long. Fruit yellow to orange when ripe, 3-3.5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm in diameter, with seed round in cross-section.

Juvenile plants have a characteristic marked bulge at the base of the trunk, which easily identifies them among other Syagrus.


Cold hardy to about 26 degrees. Rich well draining soil will result in best growing conditions. Syagrus sancona should be planted in full sun, but should have some protection in high heat inland locations, or in Florida.

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Comments and Curiosities

Uses: The trunks are often used in rural buildings for water conveyance. Ornamental, with great potential for use in landscaping. The indigenous Quichua of Ecuador use the endocarps for necklaces that are sold as souvenirs. The Indigenous Sirionó, and Tacana of Bolivia, and the Shuar of Ecuador, and the Shipibo-Conibo of Peru, use the wood as an occasional source of loom parts. All of the above eat the fruit, use the leaves for thatch, and use the wood for; utensils and tools, house construction, fences, hunting and fishing. The Indigenous Tsimane/Mosetene of Bolivia use the seeds for Personal adornment.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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.

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