Bactris plumeriana

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Bactris (BAHK-triss)
plumeriana (ploo-mehr-ee-AHN-ah)
Cuba. Photo by Jason Schoneman.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Bactris (BAHK-triss)
plumeriana (ploo-mehr-ee-AHN-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Haiti: coco macaque.

Habitat and Distribution

Bactris plumeriana is endemic to Hispaniola (Haiti, Dominican Republic), submontane rain forest on slopes,
Photo by Ryan Gallivan of Searle Brothers Nursery, Florida.
or savannas, at 20-500 m elevation. Found along rainforest streams.


Small palm solitary or clustering, with a spiny trunk to about 3 m. tall, and 8 cm. in diameter. Leaves are pinnate, slightly recurved and up to 1.5 m. long, with up to 60 pairs of leaflets. It has a white inflorescence, and brown fruit.

Stems solitary or clustering, but usually cespitose (growing in tufts or clumps), 4-10 m tall, 5-9 cm in diam., spiny on internodes. Leaves 6-9 per crown; leaf spines somewhat clustered, black, to 3 cm long, often in 3 longitudinal rows on petiole, on abaxial surface of rachis, fewer on adaxial surface; sheath to 40 cm long; ocrea not seen; petiole 30-90 cm long; rachis 0.8-2 m long; pinnae 46-67 per side, irregularly arranged in obscure clusters, spreading in different planes, linear, unequally bifid with midrib terminating subapically, spinulose along the margins; middle pinnae 35-39 x 1.7-2 cm. Inflorescences interfoliar; peduncle 10-19 cm long, recurved, spiny; prophyll 12-16 cm long; peduncular bract 30-48 cm long, moderately to densely covered with black spines to 3 cm long; rachis 7-15 cm long; rachillae 28-45, 15-17 cm long, at anthesis covered with brown, moniliform trichomes; triads irregularly arranged among paired or solitary staminate flowers; staminate flowers about 2 mm long; sepal lobes to 1 mm long; petals to 2 mm long; stamens 6; pistillode small; pistillate flowers 1.5-3.5 mm long; calyx annular, 0.5-1 mm long; corolla cupular, 1-2 mm long; staminodes absent; fruits 1.3-1.5 cm in diam., depressed-globose, red; mesocarp mealy or oily; endocarp turbinate, the sterile pores slightly displaced longitudinally; endocarp fibers absent; fruiting perianth with small calyx and three-angled, 2 mm long corolla, without staminodial ring. (Henderson, A.J. 2000)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Bactris plumeriana is diagnosed by its linear, 46-67 pinnae per side, and depressed-globose, red, fruits 1.3-1.5 cm diameter. Salzman & Judd (1995) have given a detailed description and discussion of relationships of this species. Bactris ? chaetophylla, listed as an ambiguous name by Salzman & Judd, is a synonym of B. plumeriana. The type and description are based on a juvenile leaf. (Henderson, A.J. 2000)/Palmweb.


Sunny, moist, tropical to warm, sub-tropical position. Doesn't mind wet low lying areas.

Comments and Curiosities

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.2000. Bactris (Palmae). New York Botanical Garden.

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

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