Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 87 (1824)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Brazil West-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
From 8°45'-23°01'S and 35°06'-43°28'W in the Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil at 105(0-700) m elevation, usually near the sea in restinga or scrub forest (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

Widespread in tropical America, from Mexico to Bolivia, below 1000 m elevation, often in coastal areas. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A

Discussion

  • Easily recognised by its straight leaf rachis spines and unarmed cirrhus. Otherwise a highly variable species in need of thorough revision. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A
  • Taxonomic notes:-Both Wessels Boer (1965) and Henderson et al. (1995) considered Desmoncus orthacanthos to be much more widespread. This was based on a misinterpretation, and it is here considered to be confined to the Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil (see notes under Desmoncus horridus). Desmoncus orthacanthos has an unique inflorescence structure with each rachilla with an irregular, adnate bracteole that appears displaced distally onto the rachilla (Fig. 2D). Pinnae spines are also distinctive. All specimens have at least some pinnae with one or rarely two large spines right at the very base of the pinnae on the abaxial surface.
    Subspecific variation:-There is no geographic disjunction, except for two outlying specimens from Pernambuco. There is geographical variation in this species. Regression shows there are significant (P <0.05) associations between latitude and four leaf and three inflorescence variables. Squared multiple R for the regression of petiole length on latitude is 0.19, rachis length 0.27, basal pinna length 0.29, basal pinna width 0.16, peduncular bract length 0.29, rachilla length 0.17, and fruit length 0.41. These variables decrease from north to south except for fruit length which increases from north to south. (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

Description

  • Subcanopy reaching liana. Stems clustered, to 10 m long, ca. 2 cm i diameter, usually covered with persistent sheaths. Leaves 1.5-2 m long, the axis with numerous black, slender spines, distally often unarmed but with a number of pinnae modified into climbing hooks; pinnae to 25 on each side, more or less evenly spaced, narrowly elliptic, to 20 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. Inflorescence 30-40 cm long, with 20-50 branches. Fruits red, elongate, 1.5-2 cm long (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)A
  • Plants 2.6(1.2-4.0) m tall; stems 1.3(0.7-2.2) cm diameter, clustered. Leaf petioles 6.4(2.0-15.0) cm long; rachises 59.6(30.5-85.0) cm long, 4.6(2.9-6.8) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 9(6-14) per side of rachis, without long, filiform apices, without a beard of spines at the bases, without spinules or dense tomentum at the bases adaxially; basal pinna 14.3(7.6-25.0) cm long, 2.6(1.0-4.8) cm wide; cirri well-developed, with acanthophylls, without spines abaxially, with intermediate acanthophylls present (i.e., distalmost pair of pinnae reflexed as acanthophylls and with swollen bases and/or proximalmost acanthophylls like vestigial pinnae), without a wide gap between pinnae and acanthophylls. Inflorescences with the rachis angular, slightly twisted, thicker than the closely spaced and spirally arranged rachillae, each rachilla not adnate to the rachis and with an irregular bracteole adnate to the rachilla and appearing displaced distally onto the rachilla, with a poorly- to well-developed axillary pulvinus; peduncles 3.9(2.0-7.2) mm wide; peduncular bracts 26.4(19.0-39.0) cm long, broad, the surfaces ribbed, brown tomentose, rarely with long, straight or sinuous, briefly swollen-based, diagonally or vertically oriented spines, these flattened or triangular in cross-section, whitish-brown proximally, black or brown distally, with tomentose margins; rachillae 14(8-22), glabrous or scarcely tomentose initially; proximal rachillae 10.4(5.0-20.5) cm long, 0.8(0.3-1.2) mm wide; stamens 5-7; fruits 14.4(11.4-18.4) mm long, 10.9(8.4-15.2) mm wide, the surfaces uneven with numerous, subepidermal, short, often branching (Yshaped) fibers; fruiting corollas less than one quarter as long as fruits, splitting irregularly into 3 lobes, the lobes often splitting again; endocarps globose to obovoid with rounded or slightly peaked apices, the pores lateral.Plants 2.6(1.2-4.0) m tall; stems 1.3(0.7-2.2) cm diameter, clustered. Leaf petioles 6.4(2.0-15.0) cm long; rachises 59.6(30.5-85.0) cm long, 4.6(2.9-6.8) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 9(6-14) per side of rachis, without long, filiform apices, without a beard of spines at the bases, without spinules or dense tomentum at the bases adaxially; basal pinna 14.3(7.6-25.0) cm long, 2.6(1.0-4.8) cm wide; cirri well-developed, with acanthophylls, without spines abaxially, with intermediate acanthophylls present (i.e., distalmost pair of pinnae reflexed as acanthophylls and with swollen bases and/or proximalmost acanthophylls like vestigial pinnae), without a wide gap between pinnae and acanthophylls. Inflorescences with the rachis angular, slightly twisted, thicker than the closely spaced and spirally arranged rachillae, each rachilla not adnate to the rachis and with an irregular bracteole adnate to the rachilla and appearing displaced distally onto the rachilla, with a poorly- to well-developed axillary pulvinus; peduncles 3.9(2.0-7.2) mm wide; peduncular bracts 26.4(19.0-39.0) cm long, broad, the surfaces ribbed, brown tomentose, rarely with long, straight or sinuous, briefly swollen-based, diagonally or vertically oriented spines, these flattened or triangular in cross-section, whitish-brown proximally, black or brown distally, with tomentose margins; rachillae 14(8-22), glabrous or scarcely tomentose initially; proximal rachillae 10.4(5.0-20.5) cm long, 0.8(0.3-1.2) mm wide; stamens 5-7; fruits 14.4(11.4-18.4) mm long, 10.9(8.4-15.2) mm wide, the surfaces uneven with numerous, subepidermal, short, often branching (Yshaped) fibers; fruiting corollas less than one quarter as long as fruits, splitting irregularly into 3 lobes, the lobes often splitting again; endocarps globose to obovoid with rounded or slightly peaked apices, the pores lateral. (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

Use Record

  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Al tallo se le quitan las epinas y la corteza, luego se retuerce aplicando fuerzas contrarias en los extremos con el fin de entrecruzar sus fibras. Así se emplea para la construcción de canastos para carga, amarre de balsadas o lotes de madera en trozas para transporte acuático y elaboración de catangas o trampas para peces. Además, el jaibaná la utiliza para ahuyentar los espíritus que atormentan a sus pacientes, mediante la construcción de una maroma o cuerda que se instala en un árbol, encima de la mesa o latar, para invocar a los "jais" en las prácticas de curación. (Caballero, M.R., La etnobotánica en las comunidades negras e indígenas del delta del Río Patía. 1995)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryCultural diseases and disordersStemIndigenousNot specifiedColombia
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Alimento an. Fruto. Avi-uso. Fruto. Cesteria. Tallo. Leña. Tallo. (Cerón, C.E., and C. Montalvo, Reserva Biológica Limoncocha. Formaciones vegetales, Diversidad y Etnobotánica.. 2000)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    FuelFirewoodStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Artesanal. Tallo, semilla. (Cerón, C.E., A. Payaguaje, D. Payaguaje et al., Etnobotánica Secoya. 2005)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    OtherN/AStemIndigenousSecoyaEcuador
    CulturalPersonal adornmentSeedsIndigenousSecoyaEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart. Español: Vara-casha Usos: Medicinal y cosmético — Una persona reporta que los frutos sirven contra la hepatitis. Herramientas y utensilios — El tallo es empleado en la fabricación de canastos, esteras y asientos; el tallo también sirve como tendedero para la ropa; en algunos casos se utilizan los frutos como cebo para la pesca. Comunidad: 5–9, 12–14, 16–20, 23–27. Voucher: sin muestra colectada. (Balslev, H., C. Grandez, et al., Useful palms (Arecaceae) near Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon. 2008)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryDigestive systemFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
    Animal FoodFish baitFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart. Vernacular name: Yeyerucaime. Voucher: Macía et al. #2469. Uses. D: The stem is used as a frame for baskets. HF: The flexible stem is used as a frame for fishing nets. (Macía, M.J., Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: El tallo de esta palma en ocasiones es usado para hacer cernidores y canastos. Las vainas que rodean el tallo son desprendidas para luego ser cortadas en bandas largas que son utilizados en tejidos. (Balslev, H., M. Rios, G. Quezada and B. Nantipa, Palmas útiles en la cordillera de los Huacamayos. 1997)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesLeaf sheathIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesStemIndigenousQuichuaEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Los frutos comen los tucanes y pájaros pequeños conocidos en idioma huaorani como: congangas, pegomes. El tallo se usa como caña de pescar. El tallo raspado se usa como virusa para taco de la escopeta. El tallo se usa para hacer la base de los cestos. (Cerón, C.E., and C.G. Montalvo, Etnobotánica de los Huaorani de Quehueiri-Ono, Napo-Ecuador. 1998)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Los tallos de matamba son muy resistentes, son ocasionalmente utilizados como sogas, y para la fabricación de artículos de cestería. (Galeano, G., R. Bernal, Palmas del Departamento de Antioquia, Región de Antioquia, Región Occidental. 1987)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
    Utensils and ToolsRopeStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Medicinal (Desmoncus spp.). (...). (...), use a decotion of its roots to treat stomach pains. (Balslev, H., and A. Barfod, Ecuadorean palms- an overview. 1987)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Medicinal and VeterinaryDigestive systemRootIndigenousSionaEcuador
  • Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart.: Pesca. Del tallo se sacan las hojas y las espinas para elaborar una argolla de la cual se sujetan, atándolas, las redes de pesca (Yeye Diyintai) (Mondragón, M.L., and R. Smith, Bete Quiwiguimamo. Salvando el bosque para vivir sano. 1997)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus horridus Splitg. ex Mart.: El estípite descortezado se usa para la construcción de casas, y la corteza especialmente para amarres y para la fabricación de balay y canastos. (La Rotta, C., Observaciones etnobotánicas sobre algunas especies utilizadas por la comunidad indígena Andoque (Amazonas, Colombia). 1983 (as Desmoncus horridus Splitg. ex Mart.))

Bibliography

    A. Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador
    B. Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011
    C. World Checklist of Arecaceae