Aiphanes linearis Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 577 (1932)

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Endemic to Colombia, where it is found in the northern part of Cordillera Central and on the western slopes of Cordillera Occidental from the department of Antioquia to the department of Valle, in humid to wet, lower montane forest, often cloud forest, at 1800-2600 m. Often left in pasture. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Aiplianes linearis is one of the most conspicuous species in the genus, readily distinguished by the densely clustered, golden-spiny fruits. Vegetatively it is characteristic in its caespitose habit, strongly armed stem with spines up to 35 cm long, and distichous leaves, with linear to narrowly cuneate, clustered pinnae, borne in different planes. There is some variation in size and shape of the pinnae, from linear to narrowly cuneate, a kind of variation that is very common in the genus.
    (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Common Name

  • Chascaray, chirca. Cirquí, corocito de agua, corozo de agüita, (Antioquia); chonta (Valle). (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Seeds are edible and are consumed locally. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Caespitose with up to 15 stems, these 5-10 m tall, 4-12 cm diam., densely armed with black, applanate spines, to 35 cm long. Leaves 5-9, distichous, erect and arching; sheath 46-220 cm long, densely armed with black, applanate spines, to 12 cm long; petiole 0-34 cm long, armed like the sheath; rachis 99-239 cm long, covered with purple spinules, with black spines at least abaxially; pinnae 35-48 per side, inserted in groups of (1-)2-9 separated by 4-15 cm, in different planes or sometimes distally in one plane, linear to narrowly cuneate, 6-12 times as long as wide, obliquely praemorse at apex, with a 0-2 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, adaxially glabrous, abaxially glabrous or minutely spinulose, margins lined with short spinules; basal pinnae 23-64.5 x 1-6 cm; middle pinnae 23-91 x 4-9 cm; apical pinnae 2-6 ribbed, 14-55 x 1.5-15 cm. Inflorescence erect at anthesis, curved in fruit, 1-2 m long; prophyll 15-92 cm long, abaxially densely covered with black spinules and spines, to 2 cm long; peduncular bract 57-200 cm long, 5.5-19 cm wide, thick, woody, persistent, densely covered with black and yellow spinules and fewer spines, to 2 cm long; peduncle 34-85 cm long, at anthesis 2-3 cm in diam. at junction with rachis, thicker in fruit, nearly unarmed to densely armed with black spines, to 6 cm long, with 1-4 rudimentary peduncular bracts, to 18 cm long; rachis 16-87 cm long, unarmed, with a thin brown indument; rachillae 35-80, densely spinulose, each subtended by a minute or up to 3.5 cm long bract; basal rachillae 16-56 cm long, basally without flowers for up to 4 cm, with triads for ?4- ? of the length, in this part thickened, up to 10 mm diam., distally slender, 1-2 mm diam., with densely packed dyads of staminate flowers; apical rachillae 9-26 cm long, staminate; flower groups sunken into shallow to deep pits in the rachillae, subtended by a 1-2 mm long bract; each flower in addition subtended by an up to 10 mm long bracteole resembling the pistillate sepals. Staminate flowers violet, 2-4 mm long, those of triads largest, with an up to 10 mm long pedicel, those of dyads smaller, sessile or shortly pedicellate; sepals nearly free, narrowly triangular, 1.5-2.6 mm long; petals briefly connate at base, valvate, 2-3.5 mm long; filaments ca. 1.5 mm long, anthers linear, 1.-1.5 mm long; pistillode minute, trifid. Pistillate flowers white with violet apex, 9-15 mm long; sepals rounded, imbricate, covered with yellow spinules, 6-10 x 6-10 mm, often nearly enclosing the petals; petals connate for ca. ½ of their length, imbricate distally, sparsely covered with yellow spinules on the basal half of the outer side, 9-16 x 6-9 mm, corolla lobes reflexed at anthesis; staminodial cup 7-13 mm high, almost truncate, adnate to corolla tube; pistil 11-13 mm long, densely covered with yellow, applanate spines, ca. 3 mm long. Fruits densely packed, 22-45 x 18-35 mm, angular-turbinate from mutual pressures, covered with golden, ca. 1 cm long spines; endocarp acute at base, 17-35 x 16-28 mm, shallowly pitted and irregularly furrowed. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Materials Examined

  • COLOMBIA. ANTIOQUlA: Mun. de Cocorná, rd. Medellín-Bogotá, km 62, vereda La Roca, 2000-2100 m, 19 Mar 1980 (fl, fr), Galeano & Bernal 131 (AAU, COL, HUA, NY); Mun. de Itagüi, basin of quebrada Doña Maria. above 2500 m, Jul 1942 (fl, fr), Londoño s.n. (COL); Mun. de Peque, rd. Uramita-Peque km 45-48, vereda La Tumba, 2500 m, 2 Apr 1983 (fl, fr), Bernal & Galeallo 534 (COL, HUA); 4 Apr 1983 (fr), Bernal & Galeano 570 (COL, HUA); Mun. de Urrao, trail to Parque Nacional Natural Las Orquídeas, Páramo de San Pedro, 2100 m, 23 Jun 1982 (fr), Bernal & Galeano 379 (COL, HUA). VALLE: Mun. de Bolívar, Finca La Zulia, 3 km N of Betania, 1900 m, 12 Apr 1989 (fl, fr), Bernal & Devia 1533 (COL, TULV); Hacienda Tokio, ca. 10 km S of Queremal, behind microwave tower, 2000 m, 26 Feb 1983 (fl), Gentry el al. 40805 (COL, MO). (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Use Record

  • Aiphanes linearis Burret: Las semillas son comestibles. (Galeano, G., R. Bernal 1987: Palmas del Departamento de Antioquia, Región de Antioquia, Región Occidental)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/AColombia


    A. Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95