Manicaria Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 468 (1791)

Primary tabs


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Belizepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Costa Ricapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
French Guianapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guatemalapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guyanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Honduraspresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nicaraguapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Panamápresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Surinamepresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Trinidad-Tobagopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Venezuelapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
A single variable species occurring from Central America, across Trinidad, the Orinoco Delta, and the Guianas to the lower Amazon River. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A



Biology And Ecology



  • Robust, solitary or clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem rather short, erect or leaning, sometimes dichotomously branched, conspicuously ringed with leaf scars, enlarged and with a mass of roots evident basally. Leaves very large, marcescent, pinnate, undivided or variously divided to or part way to the rachis, sometimes with separated leaflets; sheath splitting opposite the petiole, becoming narrow and deeply channelled distally, margins with many fibres; petiole long, deeply channelled adaxially, keeled abaxially, covered with small, rough scales abaxially; leaflets where blade divided single-fold, narrow, elongate, tips pointed, shortly bifid, midribs very prominent adaxially, intercostal ribs also prominent, hairs present or absent, scales usually present along ribsAdam et al. 2007, Jouannic et al. 2005) abaxially, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, Additional figures: Glossary figs 7, 20. protandrous, branched to 1–4 orders; peduncle short, rounded in section, rather slender, covered in dense dark red tomentum; prophyll long, tubular, somewhat bulbous basally, tapering to a solid tip, completely enclosing the inflorescence, flexible, net-like, composed of thin, interwoven fibres; peduncular bract (?always present) like the prophyll but inserted near the middle of the peduncle, a few long, fibrous, incomplete peduncular bracts present above the first; rachis longer than the peduncle bearing spirally arranged, rather long, narrow, pointed bracts each subtending a rachilla; rachillae short to moderate, rather crowded, glabrous or with deciduous, dark red tomentum; rachilla bracts stiff, pointed, subtending basally a few (1–3) triads followed by closely appressed staminate flowers, each with a prominent stiff, pointed bracteole, flowers somewhat sunken, rachilla bracts and floral bracteoles persistent, surrounding rounded, shallow floral insertions giving a characteristic pattern to the rachillae after flowers are shed. Staminate flowers slightly asymmetrical, obovoid in bud; sepals 3, broadly rounded, united basally for nearly 1/3 their length, imbricate where distinct, thick basally, margins thin and variously notched; petals 3, more than twice as long as the sepals, united with the receptacle to form a solid base, adnate to stamen filaments basally, lobes distinct, thick, valvate, grooved adaxially; stamens 30–35, filaments terete, moderate in length, variously coiled in bud, anthers elongate, dorsifixed above the base, introrse, connective tanniniferous; pistillode lacking. Pollen ellipsoidal or oblate triangular, with slight or obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus or trichotomosulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate, or perforate and micro-channelled, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin broad, psilate-perforate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 32–40 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers shortly ovoid in bud; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, truncate, margins variously notched; petals 3, unequal, thick, valvate; staminodes ca. 15, linear, flat, thin; gynoecium triangular in cross-section, obovoid, truncate, trilocular, triovulate, bearing 3 central, linear, connate styles ending in 3 linear stigmas, ovules laterally attached, anatropous. Fruit large, rounded, 1–3-lobed, 1–3-seeded, stigmatic remains subbasal; epicarp obsolescent at maturity, outer mesocarp woody, covered in wart-like projections, inner mesocarp spongy, tanniniferous, endocarp thin, smooth. Seed rounded, basally attached, raphe branches sunken, parallel, sparsely branched, endosperm homogeneous, hollow; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology not studied. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Fossil record

  • The leaf fossil genus Manicarites (M. dantesianus) from the Tertiary of Italy (Bureau 1896) was placed in the synonomy of Phoenicites by Read and Hickey (1972). A silicified fruit, Manicaria edwardsii, was described from Mexico (Kaul 1946). A fruiting palm inflorescence compared with Manicaria (Weber 1978) from the lower Maastrichtian of northeastern Mexico is possibly the earliest record of a floral structure described to date. However, Weber (1978) stated that, “The fossil inflorescence will be described elsewhere as a new genus.” The publication of the new genus has not yet been traced and so its affinity with Manicaria cannot be assessed. Two monosulcate palm pollen types have been recovered from the Pliocene, Gatun Lake Formation, Panama (Graham 1991). The first of these types, which is asymmetrical and scabrate tectate, is compared with pollen of Aiphanes, Reinhardtia and Manicaria. It is a very common arecoid pollen type and difficult to place. Of the suggested genera, Reinhardtia is the most probable. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A