Bactris coloniata

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Bactris (BAHK-triss)
coloniata (koh-lohn-ee-AH-tah)
Bcimg 4839.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genus: Bactris (BAHK-triss)
coloniata (koh-lohn-ee-AH-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Uvito Palm. Panama: signugar, uvita, uvito. Peru: kamancá, shigki, tujujinak.

Habitat and Distribution

Eastern Panama (Colón, Panamá, San Blas), northwestern Colombia (Antioquia, Chaco), Ecuador (Los Rios), and Peru (Amazonas); lowland rain forest, at 20-675 m elevation.

Parque Natural Metropolitano, Panama. Photo by Zulli Franceschi.


Stems cespitose, rarely solitary, forming open clumps, 3.5-7 m tall, 2- 5 cm in diam., spiny on internodes. Leaves 5-7; leaf spines scattered, somewhat flattened, yellowish brown, darker at base and apex, to 5 cm long; sheath 27-55 cm long; sheath, petiole, and rachis reddish brown-tomentose; ocrea prominent, to 30 cm long; petiole 39-70 (-108) cm long; rachis (0.4-) 1.2-1.4 (-2) m long; pinnae (4) -14- 23 (-60) per side (or rarely leaf simple), regularly or irregularly arranged in clusters of 4-12, spreading in the same or different planes, linear-lanceolate, elliptic or slightly sigmoid, the apex long-caudate and drooping, without conspicuous cross-veins, glabrous; middle pinnae 30-75 x 2.5- 7.2 cm. Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 16-25 cm, strongly recurved, not spiny; prophyll 15-49 cm; peduncular bract (26-) 42-60 cm long, densely covered with appressed, brown, flattened spines; rachis 4-10 cm long; rachillae 9-16 (-25), 14-25 cm long, to 3 mm in diam. in fruit, densely covered at anthesis with moniliform trichomes; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers to 4 mm long; sepal lobes 1-3 mm long; petals to 4 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode absent; pistillate flowers 5-7 mm long; calyx urceolate, 4-6 mm long; corolla urceolate. 5-6 mm long, with minute spinules; staminodes absent; fruits 1.5-3 x 1.5-2 (-3) cm, broadly obovoid, prominently rostrate, yellowish brown, covered with short brown spinules; mesocarp juicy; endocarp turbinate, the pores equidistant or the sterile pores slightly displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers numerous, wiry, with juice sacs attached; fruiting perianth with calyx only slightly shorter than the corolla, both crenulate-margined, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Bactris coloniata is diagnosed by its yellowish brown fruits covered with short brown spinules. Some specimens cited above are problematical. Nee 7020 from Panama has the subequal fruiting calyx and corolla and spinulose fruits of B. coloniata and the plicate leaves of B. kunorum, and pinnae with numerous, black, marginal spines 1-3 mm long. Specimens from Colombia have much larger fruits than those from Panama. The inclusion here of specimens from east of the Andes in Peru (and also Ecuador) is also somewhat problematic. These specimens appear to represent this species, even though the fruits are rather different and one specimen has simple leaves. (Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

A small to medium sized, clustering palm with slender, canelike stems to 7 m (23 ft.) tall, each holding up to 7 very slightly plumose leaves with narrow segments. It is native to lowland rainforests from eastern Panama to northern Peru to altitudes of 700 m (2300 ft.). In cultivation it will do best in tropical climates. (

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).

Henderson, A.J., Bactris (Palmae) in Flora Neotropica Monographs 79. 2000

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

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