Butia exospadix Noblick, Palms (1999+). 50: 169 (2006)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (https://github.com/tdwg/wgsrpd)
Brazil West-Central present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Paraguay present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Known from the Paraguay–Brazil border in Canindeyú, Paraguay between Ypé Jhu (Paranhos, Brazil) and Capitán Bado (Colonel Sapucala, Brazil) just north of Itanana, and also from Alto Parana, an area now flooded by the Itaipu Reservoir. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A


  • Butia exospadix is easily separated from B. leptospatha by its shorter leaf rachis (3–10 cm vs. 35–37 cm), longer peduncular bract (48–73 cm vs. 9–13 cm), smaller pistillate flowers (less than 4 mm vs. 7–8 mm) and longer spike (12–21 cm vs. 3–4 cm). Butia exospadix is separated from B. campicola by its smaller inflorescence (6.0–7.5 cm vs. 12–21 cm), smaller and more crowded flowers and by the smaller, usually non-beaked fruit. Butia exospadix is vegetatively separated by its congested leaf rachis. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A


  • acaule et subterreano; folium reduplicato-pinnatum foliolis 6–10, congestis, rhachide foliorum 3–10 cm longa; spica super spatham exerta. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Open grasslands and savannas (cerrados); flat terrain with deep sandy soils and with few, and sparsely distributed shrubs and trees, frequently associated with Allagoptera campestris. The plants are restricted to the open short grasses rather than in the adjacent low weedy scrub. Most of palms had flowers or developing immature fruit with only one with mature fruit in February. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A

Common Name

  • jataí; poñy. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A


  • The specific epithet is from exomeaning “outside” and spadix referring to an “inflorescence (of palm).” Together they are translated as “outside inflorescence” or “projecting inflorescence,” referring to the elongated peduncle (in fruit) that projects the inflorescence far above and “outside” of the peduncular bract. It is not the only Butia to do this, but it is the one that does it in the most exaggerated manner. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A


  • Stem solitary, acaulescent, subterranean 10–20 cm in diam. Leaves 2–7 in the crown, spirally arranged and spreading; leaf sheath plus petiole ca. 6–11 cm long, adaxially channeled and abaxially rounded, and glabrous; petiole without the leaf sheath 0–3 cm long and 0.3–0.5 cm wide and 0.2 cm thick at the base of the leaf blade; leaf rachis 3–10 cm long with 6–10 pairs of leaflets distributed evenly along the rachis closely crowded together in a congested manner; basal leaflets ca. 32–42 cm long × 0.1–0.2 cm wide, middle leaflets ca. 30–48 cm long × 0.3–0.4 cm wide, apical leaflets ca. 32–45 cm long × 0.1–0.2 cm wide. Inflorescence interfoliar, unbranched, 4.5–12 cm long with peduncle glabrous, 36–67 cm long × 0.15–0.2 cm diam.; peduncular bract 33–46 cm long with no apparent beak and the expanded or inflated part of the bract 5.5–16 cm long × 0.5–1 cm in width and with a 1.2–2.3 cm perimeter and a 0.5–1 mm thickness, tightly enveloping the peduncle; rachilla 1, ca. 4.5–12 cm long; pistillate (triad) flowering portion 1.5–2.5 cm long, number of pistillate flowers 9–17 and the staminate flowering portion measuring 4–6 cm long. Flowers pale yellow to purple tinged, staminate flowers near the base of the inflorescence 3.5–4.0 mm long, sessile; sepals 3, distinct, linear, imbricate but briefly connate at base, acute to mucronate, membranous, glabrous; petals 3 distinct, unequal, obovate, valvate, fleshy, glabrous, with inconspicuous venation, ca. 3.5–4.0 × 2 mm, acute tips; stamens 6, pale yellow, distinct, 2.2–2.8 mm long, with filaments 1–2 mm long; pistillode trifid, not reflexed, less than 0.5 mm long. Pistillate flowers, globose to ovoid, sessile 3.5–4.0 × 2.5–3.5 mm; sepals, glabrous, without visible venation 3–3.5 × 2.5–3.2 mm, coriaceous, imbricate, sepals subequal, acute, keeled to faintly keeled at tip; petals 3, distinct, imbricate at base, valvate at apex, triangular, faintly nerved, especially near the base, glabrous, 2.5–3.5 × 2–3 mm, valvate portion 0.5–1.5 mm long, acute; gynoecium 2–2.7 × 1.5 mm. glabrous, stigma 0.5–0.8 mm long, and staminodes 0.6–0.7 mm long, 3– 6 dentate to smooth and truncate. Fruits purple when mature, 1.2–2.0 × 1.2–1.5 cm, ovoid; cupule (persistent perianth) reddish brown, 0.8–1.0 cm in diam. × ca. 0.3–0.4 cm high; petals longer than sepals, staminodial ring truncate, 1 mm high × 3–4 mm diam.; epicarp, dark purple when mature, smooth and glabrous; mesocarp pale yellowish, fleshy, non-fibrous ca. 1–2 mm thick; endocarp nearly spherical, ca. 1.0–1.6 × 1.0–1.3 cm, 1 mm or less thick, hard, bony, dark brown to nearly black, apex with no distinctive protuberance or beak, interior smooth, monovittate, round in crosssection, outer surface nearly smooth, pores 3 nearly even with surface and subequatorial, sutures visible especially at apex; seed 1, spherical to ellipsoidal, ca. 0.8–1.2 × ca. 1 cm, endosperm white, homogeneous. Germination remote tubular, eophyll simple, narrowly lanceolate. (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A

Materials Examined

  • PARAGUAY: Canindeyú, Itanana, 19 km N of Itanara on Ypé Jhu/Capitán Bado Road, ca. 422 m, 23° 37.958’S, 55° 32.210’W, 8 Dec 2002, L.R. Noblick & T. Rios Otero 5305 (Holotype PY; isotypes FCQ, FTG, K, NY); 26–27 km N of Itanara on Ypé Jhu /Capitán Bado Road, ca. 420 m, 23° 34.411’S, 55° 31.875’W, 8 Dec 2002, L.R. Noblick & T. Rios Otero 5307 (FCQ, FTG, K, US); 20 km circa ante Capitan Bado ex Ype-Jhu, 12 Jan 1979, L.Bernardi 19568 (NY); Alto Parana, Agricola Itabo, 70 km NE de Hernandarias, inundado por lago de Itaipu, zona del Rio Itabó, 12 Apr 1980, G. Marmori 687 (CTES); San Pedro, Yaguareté Forest (Sustainable Forest Systems site), around Aserradera. 23° 47’ 46”S 56° 12’ 41”W, 21 May 1997, E. Zardini & S. Zavala 46879 (FTG, MO). (Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination)A


    A. Noblick, L. 2006: The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae