Attalea maripa

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Attalea maripa
Attalea maripa closeup.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Attalea
A. maripa
Binomial name
Attalea maripa

Palma maripa Aubl.
Attalea cryptanthera Wess.Boer
Attalea macropetala (Burret) Wess.Boer
Attalea regia (Mart.) Wess.Boer
Englerophoenix caribaeum (Griseb. & H.Wendl.) Kuntze
Englerophoenix longirostrata (Barb.Rodr.) Barb.Rodr.
Englerophoenix maripa (Aubl.) Kuntze
Englerophoenix regia (Mart.) Kuntze
Ethnora maripa (Mart.) O.F.Cook
Maximiliana caribaea Griseb. & H.Wendl. in A.H.R.Grisebach
Maximiliana elegans H.Karst.
Maximiliana longirostrata Barb.Rodr.
Maximiliana macrogyne Burret
Maximiliana macropetala Burret
Maximiliana maripa (Aubl.) Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc.
Maximiliana martiana H.Karst.
Maximiliana regia Mart.
Maximiliana stenocarpa Burret
Maximiliana tetrasticha Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc.
Scheelea maripa (Aubl.) H.Wendl. in Kerchove de Denterghem
Scheelea tetrasticha (Drude) Burret
Temenia regia (Mart.) O.F.Cook

Attalea maripa - MHNT

Attalea maripa, commonly called maripa palm[2] is a palm native to tropical South America and Trinidad and Tobago. It grows up 35 m (115 ft) tall and can have leaves or fronds 10–12 m (33–39 ft) long. This plant has a yellow edible fruit which is oblong ovoid and cream. An edible oil can be extracted from the pulp of the fruit and from the kernel of the seed.


Attalea maripa is a large palm that grows from 3.5–20 m (11–66 ft) tall. Stems range from 20–33 cm (8–13 in) in diameter, occasionally reaching up to 100 cm (39.5 in). Trees have 10 to 22 leaves with long petioles.[3] Fruit are large and brown[3] or yellow, 5–6.5 cm (2.0–2.6 in)[4] with 2 or 3 seeds which are 4–6 cm (1.5–2.5 in) long and 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) in diameter[3] They are borne in infructescences which can contain several hundred to over 2000 fruit.[4]


The species was first described by French botanist Jean Baptiste Christophore Fusée Aublet in 1775 in his Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Francoise as Palma maripa. German botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius transferred it to the genus Attalea in 1844. Hermann Wendland moved it to the genus Scheelea in 1878, while Carl Georg Oscar Drude moved it to Maximiliana. Otto Kuntze moved it to the genus Englerophoenix in 1891.[1] Orator F. Cook placed it in its own genus in 1940, which he named Ethnora in recognition of Aublet's as a pioneer of the anti-slavery movement.[5] Recent work has favoured maintaining all Attaleinae in a single genus, Attalea.[6]

Vernacular names[edit]

Common names of Attalea maripa
Common name Usage
Anajá Brazil[3]
Cocorite Trinidad and Tobago[7]
Cucurito Venezuela[3]
Cusi Bolivia[3]
Gaibamo (fruit) Huaroni (Ecuador)[8]
Gaibawe (adult) Huaroni[8]
Güichire Colombia[3]
Inajá Brazil[9]
Inajai Brazil[3]
Inayo Ecuador[3]
Inayuga Peru[3]
Kukarit Guyana[3]
Maripa French Guiana, Suriname[3]
Namba (juvenile plant) Huaroni[8]
Wencayapa (juvenile plant) Huaroni[8]
Rikre Kakapó (Brazil)[10]


Attalea maripa ranges from Trinidad and Tobago in the north to Bolivia in the south. It is present in Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.[1] It is found in lowland forests and disturbed areas, on soils that are not usually flooded.[3]


The fruit of A. maripa are consumed by a variety of mammals. On Maracá Island, Roraima, in the Brazilian Amazon, fruit were consumed by tapirs, collared peccaries, deer and primates. Rodents, including agoutis, fed upon the fruit and, as the fruit availability declined, they fed on the seeds. They also cached seeds for later consumption. Most species consume the pulp and spit out intact seeds within a short distance of the parent tree. Tapirs swallow the entire fruit and defaecate intact seeds further away from parent trees. Most of the seeds that were not removed from the vicinity of the parent trees were killed by larvae of the Bruchid beetle Pachymerus cardo. Beetle larvae killed 77% of seeds that were not dispersed away from the parent trees, but less than 1% of seeds that were dispersed to tapir latrines.[4]

In Trinidad, A. maripa is a characteristic species in the savannas that develop when forests are converted to grasslands through repeated fires. British forester J. S. Beard termed these savannas "Cocorite Savannas" (after the local name for A. maripa).[7]


Carbonised Attalea maripa seeds have been found in archaeological sites in Colombia dating back to 9000 BP.[11] The Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador use the mesocarps for food. They use the petiole and leaf rachis to make blowgun darts and sleeping mats, the petioles for torches, the pinnae for kindling and the stems for firewood.[8] In addition to using is as a food species, Kayapó of Brazil use the species as a source of salt, and value it because it attracts wildlife.[10] The leaves are also used for thatching.[3]

Edible oil can be extracted from the mesocarp and kernel of A. maripa. Oleic acid is the predominant fatty acid in oil extracted from the mesocarp, while lauric acid predominates in the kernel. About half of the fatty acids in the mesocarp oil are saturated and half unsaturated. The tocopherol content of the mesocarp oil was average (in comparison to other edible oils) while the kernel oil was low in tocopherols.[9]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Attalea maripa". WCSP World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  2. ^ "Attalea maripa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Henderson, Andrew; Gloria Galeano; Rodrigo Bernal (1995). Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08537-4.
  4. ^ a b c Fragoso, Jose M. V. (1997). "Tapir-Generated Seed Shadows: Scale-Dependent Patchiness in the Amazon Rain Forest". Journal of Ecology. British Ecological Society. 85 (4): 519–29. doi:10.2307/2960574. JSTOR 2960574.
  5. ^ Cook, O. F. (1940). "Aublet the botanist, a pioneer against slavery, with a memorial genus of palms". Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences. 30 (7): 294–99.
  6. ^ Govaerts, R.; J. Henderson; S.F. Zona; D.R. Hodel; A. Henderson (2006). "World Checklist of Arecaceae". The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Archived from the original on 21 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  7. ^ a b Beard, J. S. (1953). "The Savanna Vegetation of Northern Tropical America". Ecological Monographs. Ecological Society of America. 23 (2): 149–215. doi:10.2307/1948518. JSTOR 1948518.
  8. ^ a b c d e Macía, Manuel J. (2004). "Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 144 (2): 149–59. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2003.00248.x.
  9. ^ a b Bereau, Didier; Bouchra Benjelloun-Mlayah; Michel Delmas (2001). "Maximiliana maripa Drude mesocarp and kernel oils: Fatty acid and total tocopherol compositions". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 78 (2): 213–14. doi:10.1007/s11746-001-0245-8.
  10. ^ a b Posey, Darrell Addison (1985). "Indigenous management of tropical forest ecosystems: the case of the Kayapó indians of the Brazilian Amazon". Agroforestry Systems. 3 (2): 139–58. doi:10.1007/BF00122640.
  11. ^ Morcote-Ríos, Gaspar; Rodrigo Bernal (2001). "Remains of palms (Palmae) at archaeological sites in the New World: A review". Botanical Review. 67 (3): 309–50. doi:10.1007/BF02858098.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Attalea maripa at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Attalea maripa at Wikispecies