Geonoma maxima

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Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
maxima (MAX-ih-mah)
Guy geonoma maxima fruits mataroni.jpg
Mataroni, French Guiana.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
maxima (MAX-ih-mah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Undivided & irregularly pinnate.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Bolivia, Brazil North, Colombia, Ecuador,
Mataroni, French Guiana.
French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.


Palm 3.2 (1.0-9.0) m tall; stems 2.9 (1.0-7.0) m tall, 1.2 (0.5-2.3) cm in diameter, solitary or clustering, canelike; internodes 2.4 (0.5-8.7) cm long, yellowish and smooth. Leaves 9 (4-19) per stem, undivided or irregularly pinnate, if regularly pinnate the pinnae with 1 main vein only (rarely with several lateral veins), not plicate or plicate, bases of blades running diagonally into the rachis; sheaths 12.6 (4.0-30.0) cm long; petioles 34.6 (1.0-100.0) cm long, drying green or yellowish; rachis 44.0 (7.3-120.0) cm long, 3.6 (1.4-7.1) mm in diameter; veins raised and rectangular in cross-section adaxially; pinnae 8 (1-31) per side of rachis; basal pinna 43.2 (8.2-132.0) cm long, 3.9 (0.1-34.0) cm wide, forming an angle of 47 (7-87)° with the rachis; apical pinna 32.8 (8.5-86.0) cm long, 9.6 (0.2-42.5) cm wide, forming an angle of 23 (7-42)° with the rachis. Inflorescences branched 1-3 orders; prophylls and peduncular bracts not ribbed with elongate, unbranched fibers, flattened, deciduous or persistent; prophylls 10.6 (3.7-21.8) cm long, not short and asymmetrically apiculate, the surfaces not ridged, without unequally wide ridges; peduncular bracts 8.7 (4.7-13.0) cm long, well-developed, inserted 0.6 (0.2-3.0) cm above the prophyll; peduncles 8.2 (3.2-19.5) cm long, 4.9 (1.5-10.0) mm in diameter; rachillae 19 (4-50), 11.4 (4.8-24.3) cm long, 2.7 (0.7-6.0) mm in diameter, the surfaces without spiky, fibrous projections or ridges, drying brown or yellow-brown, without short, transverse ridges, not filiform and not narrowed between the flower pits; flower pits spirally arranged, glabrous internally; proximal lips with a central notch before anthesis, often the two sides of the notch overlapping, not recurved after anthesis, not hood-shaped; proximal and distal lips drying the same color as the rachillae, not joined to form a raised cupule, the proximal lip margins overlapping the distal lip margins; distal lips well-developed; staminate and pistillate petals not emergent, not valvate throughout; staminate flowers deciduous after anthesis; stamens 6; thecae diverging at anthesis, inserted directly onto the apiculate filament apices; anthers not short and curled at anthesis, usually elongate, spiraled and twisted or sometimes remaining straight; nonfertilized pistillate flowers deciduous after anthesis; staminodial tubes lobed at the apex, the lobes spreading at anthesis, acuminate, those of non-fertilized pistillate flowers not projecting and persistent after anthesis; fruits 11.8 (6.9-18.2) mm long, 9.0 (5.5-13.0) mm in diameter, apices not conical, the surfaces not splitting at maturity, without fibers emerging, not bumpy, not apiculate; locular epidermis without operculum, smooth, without pores. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: the Indigenous use it for thatch, fence posts, utensils & tools, Hunting and fishing, Ritual rites,Personal adornment, and also the fruit is eaten. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.

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. 2011. A revision of Geonoma. Magnolia Press.

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

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