Parajubaea sunkha M.Moraes, Novon 6: 85 (1996): 85

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Boliviapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to Bolivia. Restricted to narrow valleys with low semideciduous forests in the lower parts and with Podocarpus parlatorei Pilger, Alnus acuminata HBK, and Berberís sp. in the upper parts, partially transformed to grassy or shrubby slopes and ridges, in the Department of Santa Cruz, Province of Vallegrande (63°26'- 64°10'W, 18°10'-18°30'S). (M. Moraes, Novelties of the Genera Parajubaea and Syagrus (Palmae) from Interandean Valleys of Bolivia. 1996)A


  • Much material previously cited was misidentified as Parajubaea torallyi (Moraes & Henderson, 1990), to which the new species P. sunkha is undoubtedly closely related, and with which it is wholly allopatric. Parajubaea torallyi is a tree 20-26 m tall, with a smooth and slender stem, and pinnae regularly arranged. It grows on steep western slopes of sandstone mountains ranging from 2000 to 3400 m. There are two populations, which differ in fruit size, shape of endocarp, and number of stamens. They are treated as two varieties of P. torallyi. (M. Moraes, Novelties of the Genera Parajubaea and Syagrus (Palmae) from Interandean Valleys of Bolivia. 1996)A


Biology And Ecology





  • Stem 4-10(-14) m tall, 25-50 cm diam., covered to the base with old sheaths. Leaves 18-26, 2-3 m long, erect and arching in distal third portion; sheath 35-120 cm long, with a dense tough brown fiber 1-1.35 m long, 40-70 cm wide; petiole 33- 100 cm long; rachis 2-2.5 m long, triangular in cross section at apex; pinnae 66-92 per side, lanceolate, irregularly inserted in groups of 2-5, 3-4 cm apart, in one plane, plicate at base, green and lustrous adaxially, glaucous abaxially; basal pinnae 45-80 X 0.4-1.1 cm; middle pinnae 62-70 X 2.5- 3 cm; apical pinnae 40-52 X 0.3-0.8 cm. Inflorescences up to six per plant. 1.8-2.5 in long, buds erect becoming pendulous at anthesis: prophyll ca. 1.4 m long and 13 cm diam. at base; peduncular bract 0.85-1.75 m long, apiculate, inflated above, woody, sulcate, brown externally, glabrous and white-cream internally; peduncle 60-80 cm long, glabrous; rachis 38-50 cm long, glabrous; rachillae 33-50 spirally arranged, spreading at anthesis, the basal ones 18-32 cm long, the middle ones 28 cm long, the apical ones 21-25 cm long; staminate flowers pedicellate, pedicel 2-6 mm, yellow-orangish; sepals free, briefly connate basally: petals broadly triangular, 10 X 6 mm, valvate; stamens 13-15, 6 mm long; filaments 2 mm long; anthers 4 mm long, medifixed, slightly sagittate; pistillode trifid; pistillate flowers 4-5(-8) per rachilla, basally inserted, 8.5 X 10 mm; sepals and petals broadly triangular, 10 X 13 mm, petals slightly smaller than sepals; staminodial ring to 2 mm tall, with 6 short teeth; ovary brownish beige tomentose; stigmas to 1 mm long; ovule basal. Fruit ovoid, 3-5 cm long, 2.5-3 cm diam.; epicarp light green, orange at apex; mesocarp very fibrous; endocarp stonish, brown with 3 inconspicuous ridges; seeds 1(- 2), 2-2.5 cm long; endosperm homogeneous with central cavity; eophyll bifid. (M. Moraes, Novelties of the Genera Parajubaea and Syagrus (Palmae) from Interandean Valleys of Bolivia. 1996)A

Materials Examined

  • BOLIVIA. Santa Cruz: Prov. Vallegrande, Malaralcito, 2 hours E of Santa Rosita on road to Postrer Valle, 18°32'S, 64°00'W, 1900 m, 11 May 1988, Henderson, Moraes & Saldias 760 (LPB, NY), 10 May 1988, Moraes et al. 1048 (LPB, NY); 15 km E from Santa Rosita, 23 July 1989, Vargas 230 (LPB, UCZ); 10 km E of Guadalupe, valley of rfo Piraymiri, 1 km upstream from Chorillos, 18°33'S, 63°59'W, 1800 m, 5 Feb. 1988, Nee et al. 36179 (LPB, NY, UCZ); in Barrio Nuevo, 18°29'S, 64°06'W, 2000 m, 5 Feb. 1988, Nee et al. 36245 (LPB, NY, UCZ). (M. Moraes, Novelties of the Genera Parajubaea and Syagrus (Palmae) from Interandean Valleys of Bolivia. 1996)A

Use Record

  • Parajubaea sunkha M.Moraes: A veces es plantada como ornamental en los pueblos de Vallegrande y Guadalupe en Santa Cruz. (Moraes, M., Contribución al estudio del ciclo biológico de la palma Copernicia alba en un área ganadera (Espíritu, Beni, Bolivia). 1991)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    EnvironmentalOrnamentalEntire plantNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Parajubaea sunkha M.Moraes: Sus frutos se venden en el mercado de Vallegrande, sus semillas son comestibles por el sabor agradable y de éstas también se fabrican pastelillos; de las fibras de las bases de las hojas se fabrican colchones, almohadas, cuerdas, ensillado para caballares, cestos, bolsones, carteras, etc.; de las pinnas y sus nervaduras se fabrican cuerdas, abanicos, canastos, etc.; sus palmitos son consumidos, ocasionalmente, en ensaladas y el follaje sirve de forraje para los animales. (Moreno Suárez, L., and O.I. Moreno Suárez, Colecciones de las palmeras de Bolivia. 2006)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsRopeLeaf rachisNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticLeaf rachisNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeLeaf sheathNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticLeaf sheathNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsOtherLeaf sheathNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Animal FoodFodderEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodPalm heartNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesLeaf sheathNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Parajubaea sunkha M.Moraes: Their only monetary income is generated by working off-farm or by harvesting Parajubaea fiber.(...). The soft fiber that grows at the petiole base can be harvested annually and is processed and manufactured into mattresses, saddle pillows and ropes. (Enssle, J., H. Ferrufino, and P.L. Ibisch, Conservation Status and Economic Potential of Parajubaea sunkha, an Endemic Palm of Bolivia. 2006)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticPetioleNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Utensils and ToolsRopePetioleNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    EnvironmentalAgroforestryEntire plantNot identifiedN/ABolivia