Socratea salazarii

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Socratea (sohc-rah-TEH-ah)
salazarii (sah-lah-ZAHR-ee)
Perú. Photo by Dr. Robin Foster.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Socratea (sohc-rah-TEH-ah)
salazarii (sah-lah-ZAHR-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Socratea salazarii is found in Bolivia, Brazil North, Colombia, Costa Rica,
La Habana Botanical Garden, Cuba. Photo by Jason Schoneman.
Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Widespread in Central America and South America. Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos & mainland. Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimento. Sendero del límite del parque, entrando por Sal Creek, Playa Larga; zona de humedales. Bosque maduro. Parte final del sendero. In Ecuador it occurs in moist forest on both sides of the Andes, and is often quite common. Below 1000 m. elevation.

Grows quickly, has a very small, light canopy, and develops well from naturally dispersed and discarded or thrown-out seeds. Maintenance is minimal, and it grows well with almost any crop. These factors combine to make it a common species in non-flooded fields and fallows.


Subcanopy palm. Stems solitary or occasionally clustered. Pinnae simple. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Socratea need full sun to partial shade with moist soil. We grow ours under 25% shade all year long. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. The soil mix is kept constantly moist all year long. We fertilize the palm monthly during the spring and summer months with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, we do not fertilize them. In containers, the palms are fairly slow growers and they need to be repotted every couple of years. The stilt roots will sometime grow outside of the container, giving it a unique look in the greenhouse. Seeds germinate in 45-60 days at 75°F (24°C). USDA zones 10b-11.

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: Spiny aerial root used as coarse grater, also used as temporary thatch.

A quick growing, beautiful and slender stilt-root palm with fishtail-like leaflets, native to the Amazonian foothills of the Andes in Peru. It is best suited to humid, 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).

Borchsenius, F.1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.

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

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