Asterogyne spicata

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Asterogyne (ahs-tehr-roh-GEE-neh)
spicata (spih-KAHT-ah)
Guatopo, Venezuela. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Asterogyne (ahs-tehr-roh-GEE-neh)
spicata (spih-KAHT-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Bifid, pinate.
Survivability index
Common names
Palmito Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Asterogyne spicata is endemic to Venezuela.
Venezuela. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Found in Guatopo National Park in the state of Miranda at about 500-600 meters elevation.


Asterogyne spicata is an elegant, small, solitary palm, very well adapted for horticulture. It is also relatively easy to propagate. The genus Asterogyne is monoecious, with male and femaie flowers on the same plant, A. spicata has a spicate inflorescence and the male flowers have 2I-24 stamens, whereas A . rannosa has a branched inflorescence with 4-I2 unbranched rachillae. Male flowers of A. ramosa have 10-12 stamens. The seeds germinate in 3-4 months and the seedlings are relatively slow in growth. However, given the same conditions as in its habitat-good well-drained soil, which should not be too difficult to comply with, it is a fine palm. excellent forindoor cultivation. In the forest one can see grown-up individuals of up to 8 meters high, stems about 4 cm in diameter, and leaves erect up to I20 cm long, multinerved at 25 degrees to the center nerve. The first young leaf is frequently red colored, which gives the palm a very great ornamental value. The local name in the state of Miranda, Venezrela, is "Palmiche" and the dark red ovoid fruits, lB mm long and 7 mm wide are edible. The endocarp has a sweet acid taste. The coloration is sometimes so vivid that from a distance the plants seem to be in flower. Editing by edric. (Hoyos and Braun 1984, Wessels Boer I988).


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b.

Comments and Curiosities

The Palmito is a beautiful and rare rainforest palm of small size. Its simple leaves have an interesting funnel-shaped arrangement and are notched at the tips. As the name suggests, it also has an unbranched inflorescence. Known from only a tiny area in northern Venezuela. Requires rich and moist soil, and low to medium light. Seen in a rainforest clearing, it is an unforgettable sight! (Rare Palm Seeds)

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).

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

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