Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Euterpe oleracea
Mart., Arecaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Euterpe badiocarpa Barb. Rodr.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: assai palm, cabbage palm

French: pinot

Spanish: asaí, euterpe

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Stems cespitose with up to 25 stems per clump, or occasionally appearing solitary and then with shoots at the base, erect or leaning, 3-20 m tall, 7-18 cm in diameter, usually gray with lichens, with a cone of red roots at base, these to 1 cm in diameter, and with pneumatophores. Leaves 8-14, arching; sheath 0.6-1.5 m long including a short ligule, dark brown, purple, green, dull red-green or yellow-green, with few, flat, scattered, brownish scales especially on ligule; petiole 17-50 cm long, with few, flattened or raised scales or occasionally whitish, scurfy scales adaxially and on upper part of abaxial surface, mostly glabrous abaxially; rachis 1.5-3.7 m long, with similar scales like those of petiole; pinnae 40-80 per side, pendulous or less often horizontal (especially on younger plants), opposite to subopposite, long acuminate, with punctations abaxially, with prominent midvein and 2-3 lateral veins either side, the midvein with few ramenta abaxially; basal pinna 40-74 x 0.5-1.5 cm; middle pinnae 0.6-1.1 m x 2-4.5 cm; apical pinna 24-50 x 0.6-1.8 cm. Inflorescences infrafoliar at anthesis, almost horizontal; peduncle 5-15 cm long, 2.7-4 cm in diameter; prophyll 43-66 cm long, 11-14 cm in diameter; peduncular bract 66-95 cm long, without an umbo; rachis 35-68 cm long, densely covered with whitish brown, branched hairs; rachillae (58-) 80-162, 21-75 cm long, 3-4 mm in diameter at anthesis, thickening in fruit, absent from adaxial, proximal part of rachis, densely covered with very short, appressed, whitish brown hairs; flowers in triads proximally, paired or solitary staminate distally; triad bracteole rounded; first flower bracteole apiculate, second and third flower bracteoles unequal, rounded, the largest 1-1.5 mm long; staminate flowers 4-5 mm long; sepals triangular to ovate, 2-3.5 mm long, unequal, ciliate; petals ovate, 3-4 mm long, purple to purple-red; stamens arranged on a short receptacle; filaments 1.5-4 mm long; anthers 2-2.5 mm long; pistillode 2-3 mm long, deeply trifid at apex; pistillate flowers 3 mm long; sepals broadly triangular, 2 mm long, ciliate; petals broadly triangular, 2-3 mm 1ong. Fruits globose or depressed globose, 1-2 cm in diameter, the stigmatic remains lateral; epicarp purple-black, black, or green, minutely tuberculate; seeds globose; endosperm deeply ruminate; eophyll bifid"  (Borchsenius, 1998, in Palmnet).

"Cespitose palm, with 4-20 stems, exceptionally one, to 20 m (30 m in shady areas). Propagation by seeds (recalcitrant; germination in 20-40 days) or basal shoots. The fruit is a globose berry, 1.5 cm in diameter, green turning dark green purple, or black at complete maturity; then covered by a whitish powdery layer. Large endocarp (80% of the fruit), fibrous, containing an oily endosperm. High polymorphism"  (Fruits from America).

Habitat/ecology:  "Coastal regions, in tidal fresh water swamps and in regularly inundated areas along rivers and streams. (Borchsenius, 1998, in Palmnet).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Panama and South America; also cultivated (GRIN). Eastern Amazon and Guianas, northern Brazil, Venezuela and Trinidad, in flooded areas (Fruits from America).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013)
Reported planted in the National Tropical Botanical Garden
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1997) (voucher ID: BISH 655289)
Taxon name on voucher: Euterpe oleracea Mart.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
Palmweb (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
Palmweb (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 41)
Cultivated only


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This page was created on 28 DEC 2006 and was last updated on 7 MAY 2017.