| Allagoptera (ahl-lah-gohp-TEH-rah) |
Jardim Botânico, Brasília, Brasil. Photo by Mauricio Mercadante
Habitat and DistributionAllagoptera campestris is found in Argentina Northeast, Brazil Northeast, Brazil
In some habitats, A. campestris grows mixed with Acrocomia aculeata and Syagrus romanzoffiana, totally camouflaged with the tall grass and completely invisible. Fruits are typical of all Allagoptera species, occurring in a 'spatha' and are not edible. The seeds are small and germinate easy and quickly when they are fresh. The subterranean trunk is short and sometimes branched. The leaves are pinnate and similar to S. romanzoffianum, except that they are grey below and are held spread out on the ground. This palm grows occasionally in Argentina and is endangered in this country. The latitude 27° S is, approximately, the southern limit of this species. (Jose A Grassia)
A stemless (acaulescent), solitary, but subterranean, giving it the appearance of clustering, dwarf palm, native to savanna vegetation in southern central Brazil, easternmost Paraguay and adjoining Argentina, where it grows to altitudes of 1500 m (4900 ft.). While generally similar to the other species in the genus, with plumose, arching leaves that are dark green above and densely silvery below, A. campestris is most easily distinguished by its stiff--not curly--leaflets. Due to its inland habitat at some altitude, it is by far the hardiest of the Allagoptera and will take some cold and moderate freezes. It will grow happily in warm temperate as well as in many tropical climates and prfers a place in full sun. This palm grows in sandy and triturate stones soils, rich in iron, exposed to very hot temperatures in summer, and occasional freezes in winter. This is a very small palm, with a clustering habit, and a subterranean trunk. The leaves look like a very small Syagrus romanzoffiana with grey scales below, but with the typical Allagoptera inflorescence and fruits. (Mónica Moraes)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Palm 0.3-1 m tall; stem to 20 cm long, solitary, but subterranean, giving it the appearance of clustering. Leaves 6-10 in the crown; sheath and petiole fibrous, densely brown tomentose; petiole 15-25 cm long, about 0.8 mm. in diam., densely tomentose, covered with cream-brown woolly hairs; rachis 50-66 cm long, glabrous; pinnae 30-50 per side, short-lanceolate, thick, stiff and erect with acute tips, regularly inserted in groups of 2-3, 2-3 cm apart, at acute angles, plicate at base, inserted divergent to rachilla and covered with woolly hairs and ramenta to the middle, asymmetrically split for 0.2-0.4 cm at the obtuse apex, with evident midrib adaxially, depressed abaxially, with transverse veinlets not evident or less often near to midrib, concolorous dull waxy green or sometimes glaucous green adaxially; basal pinnae 10-21 x 0.4-1.1 cm; middle pinnae 14-25 x 0.6-0.8 cm; apical pinnae 4.5-7 x 0.2-0.4 cm. Inflorescences 24-52 cm long; peduncle 15-40 cm long, about 0.6 cm. in diam., slender, densely covered wilh woolly hairs and ramenta; rachilla 9-12 cm long, bearing whitish woolly hairs and/or ramenta; prophyll 12-25 cm, tubular, scarious; peduncular bract 30-45 cm long, about 3.5 cm. in diam., apiculate , woody, sulcate, with white woolly indumentum externally, glabrous and brown internally; peduncular bracts 1-2, scarious, dentate, 0.8- 5 cm long, at 1-2 cm from apex of peduncle. Staminate flowers about 6 mm long, pedicel <1 mm long, inserted somehow parallel to rachis; sepals connate to 15 mm from base, glabrous, coriaceous, with papillose hairs on margins, 6-7 x 4-5 mm; at petals valvate, free, glabrous, coriaccous, about 6 x 3-4 mm; stamens 6, about 3 mm long, the filaments columnar, the anthers ca. 2 mm long, slightly sagittate at apex; pislillode trifid. Pistillate flowers inserted on proximal 6-9 cm of rachilla, membranous; sepals free, triangular, about 7 x 3 mm, imbricate to the left, glabrous; petals free, triangular, about 6 x 3 mm, glabrous; staminodial ring short and irregular; pistil conical, about 6 mm; stigma trifid, with 3 short branches (to 4 mm), wrinkled, glabrous. Fruit ovoid to ellipsoid, sparsely covered with floccose indumentum or glabrous in lower ½ of fruit, about 1.2 cm long, about 0.7 cm. in diam., upwards inserted to the rachilla apex, the stigmatic remnants with curved stigmas, about 3 mm long, the persistent perianth to ½ of fruit; seed 1. (Mónica Moraes)/Palmweb.
Another collection which was not studied here but was reported to occur in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul (L. Noblick, pers. comm.), is as follows: RIO GRANDE DO SUL: Rio Grande, Sarandi, Post Agropecuario, 1957, Souza S.n. (HAS). This species has constant and variable characteristics. The disposition of the stiff and narrow pinnae, which are erect and appressed to the rachis at acute angles, and stamen number are distinctive when compared to the other species of Allagoptera. Nonetheless, this species varies greatly in height, pinnae length , the density of the tomentum, and the length of the spicate inflorescence. There may be hybrids between Allagoptera campestris and A. leucocalyx. There are two sources of evidence supporting this idea. First, some collections are a mixture of both species which demonstrate that they grow together. Second, some specimens exhibit the vegetative and habit features of A. campestris, but the size and length of inflorescence and number of stamens are those of A. leucocalyx, e.g., collections from Amambay, Paraguay. (Mónica Moraes)/Palmweb.
A very well drained, sandy mix, in full sun. Can take very harsh conditions. Seeds germinate easily when fresh. It prefers sandy and stony soils, full sun, and it tolerates temperatures down to -4° C/ 26 F.
Comments and Curiosities
Etymology: The name Buri comes from the Tupi (the indigenous) and means "little leaf".
Phenology: Fruits all year around, but only ripen with warm temperatures and sun. Begins to bear fruit within 6 to Seven years after planting.
Conservation: It is endangered in habitat (it is very rare, even in its native country of Argentina), and rarely cultivated. Requires very well drained, sandy mix, in full sun. Can take very harsh conditions. Seeds germinate easily.
Uses: The premature fruits are edible. The leaves are utilized as forage and for brooms.
This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!
A stemless dwarf palm native to savanna vegetation in southern central Brazil, easternmost Paraguay and adjoining Argentina, where it grows to altitudes of 1500 m (4900 ft.). While generally similar to the other species in the genus, with plumose, arching leaves that are dark green above and densely silvery below, A. campestris is most easily distinguished by its stiff--not curly--leaflets. Due to its inland habitat at some altitude, it is by far the hardiest of the Allagoptera and will take some cold and moderate freezes. (RPS.com)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- Great info!
- THE SAXOPHONE STYLE ROOT GROWTH (HEEL)
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).
Mónica Moraes. Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera. The New York Botanical Garden.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.