Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend., Palms Amazon : 225 (1995)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Brazil Northpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Ecuadorpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Perupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
From 0°32'-7°25'S and 70°10'-78°15'W in the western Amazon region in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil at 266(150-440) m elevation in lowland rainforest or secondary forest. (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

W Amazon region in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil, below 600 m elevation. (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

  • Taxonomic notes:-Desmoncus giganteus is characterized by its large size and unusually large fruits with long fruiting corollas. It is the only species of Desmoncus always reported to have solitary stems; all other species have clustered or rarely solitary stems. It is probably more common than the few specimens suggest. Moreno Suárez and Moreno Suárez (2006) consider that this species occurs in Bolivia. However, the description and illustrations they give of the fruits do not match those of D. giganteus, and appear more like those of the large morphotype of D. polyacanthos. (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

Description

  • Canopy reaching liana. Stem solitary, to 30 m long and 5 cm in diameter, usually covered with persistent leaf sheaths. Leaves 2-3 m long, the axis with slender, black spines, distally often unarmed; pinnae 9-10 on each side, evenly spaced, elliptic, 25-45 cm long and 6-12 cm wide; distal part of the rachis with 8-9 pairs of pinnae transformed into climbing hooks. Inflorescence 40-50 cm long; branches numerous, to 10 cm long or more. Fruits red, elongate, ca. 40 x 20 mm, rostrate. (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 22.3(4.5-50.0) m tall; stems 4.4(4.0-4.8) cm diameter, solitary. Leaf petioles 20.5(15.0-30.0) cm long; rachises 157.5(125.0-190.0) cm long, 12.2(10.1-14.2) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 10 per side of rachis, without long, filiform apices, with an adaxial beard of spines at the bases, without spinules or dense tomentum at the bases adaxially; basal pinna 39.2(32.0-46.5) cm long, 6.5(5.7-7.3) cm wide; cirri well-developed, with acanthophylls, without spines abaxially, with intermediate acanthophylls present, without a wide gap between pinnae and acanthophylls. Inflorescences with the rachis ridged, not twisted, much thicker than the numerous, closely spaced and spirally or irregularly arranged rachillae, each rachilla not or only briefly adnate to the rachis, subtended by an acute bracteole and with a well-developed axillary pulvinus; peduncles 8.5(6.5-11.7) mm wide; peduncular bracts length no data, broad, the surfaces ribbed, brown tomentose, densely covered 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 number no data, glabrous or scarcely tomentose initially; proximal rachillae 16.0 cm long, 1.7 mm wide; stamens number no data; fruits 36.2(21.5-42.6) mm long, 16.6(12.7-18.3) mm wide, the surfaces smooth, without any apparent subepidermal fibers; fruiting corollas to half as long as fruits, splitting irregularly into 3 lobes, the lobes often splitting again; endocarps ovoid to obovoid with prominent, peaked apices, the pores lateral. (Henderson, A., A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae) in Phytotaxa 35. 2011)B

Use Record

  • Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend.: Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend. Español: Vara-casha Usos: Medicinal y cosmético — El tallo es usado con fines medicinales; los frutos son utilizados para tratar enfermedades sanguíneas. Herramientas y utensilios — El tallo se utiliza en la fabricación de asientos, partes de muebles y para canastas; el tallo también sirve como cuerda para atar, por ejemplo, hojas para techo cuando se las transportan del bosque y como tendedero para la ropa; en algunos casos se utilizan los frutos como cebo para la pesca. Para venta — Los tallos son comercializados. Comunidad: 3–14, 16–20, 23–30. Voucher: H. Balslev 7448. (Balslev, H., C. Grandez, et al., Useful palms (Arecaceae) near Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon. 2008)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Animal FoodFish baitFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
    Medicinal and VeterinaryBlood and cardiovascular systemFruitsNot identifiedN/APeru
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemNot identifiedN/APeru
    Utensils and ToolsRopeStemNot identifiedN/APeru
    Medicinal and VeterinaryNot specifiedStemNot identifiedN/APeru
  • Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend.: Desmoncus giganteus An. Hend. Vernacular names: Orcame, yeyerucaime. Vouchers: Macía et al. #545; Macía et al. #948; Macía et al. #1196. Uses. E: The mesocarp is occasionally eaten. HF: The flexible stem is used as a frame for fishing nets. The terminal pinnae transformed into climbing hooks are used for hunting young birds from nest holes. These climbing hooks are also used as hooks for fishing. O: The spines are used to remove thorns. (Macía, M.J., Multiplicity in palm uses by the Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. 2004)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Human FoodFoodFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    OtherN/ASpinesIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend.: Los frutos comen los tucanes y pájaros pequeños conocidos en el 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
    Animal FoodWildlife attractantFruitsIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
    Utensils and ToolsHunting and fishingStemIndigenousHuaoraniEcuador
  • Desmoncus giganteus A.J.Hend.: Stem are used for "tambors" (=drums) and when no better material is found, for baskets. The small "fruit" inside the bud is eaten to prevent hernia. Arrows are made by "curanderos" and are used in ceremonies. (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)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticStemIndigenousShuarEcuador
    Medicinal and VeterinaryOtherPalm heartNot identifiedN/AEcuador
    CulturalRitualNot specifiedIndigenousAchuarEcuador
    CulturalRecreationalStemIndigenousAchuarEcuador

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