Astrocaryum is a genus of spiny palms with pinnately compound leaves–rows of leaflets emerge on either side of the axis of the leaf in a feather-like or fern-like pattern. Some species are single-stemmed, while others grow in multi-stemmed (caespitose) clumps. They are pleonanthic—they flower repeatedly over the course of their lifespan—and monoecious, meaning that there are separate male and female flowers, but individuals plants bear both types of flowers.
One well known member of the genus is Astrocaryum vulgare, typical in the Pará state of Brazil. Astrocaryum mexicanum, a common palm of the Caribbean coast of Central America, is known as warree cohune in Brazil, as its spines are said to resemble the bristles of the white-lipped peccary or warree.
The fruit and seeds of several species are used for human food, oil production and fish bait. Leaves are used as a source of fibre and stems as building material. Species are also used medicinally and as a source of palm heart.
- Kahn, Francis (2008). "The genus Astrocaryum (Arecaceae)" (PDF). Revista Peruvana de Biología 15 (supl. 1): 31–48. ISSN 1727-9933.
- Kew Palms Checklist: Astrocaryum
- Bernal, Rodrigo (2008). "(1837) Proposal to conserve the name Astrocaryum aculeatum (Palmae) with a conserved type". Taxon 57 (3): 997–98.
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