Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 726 (1891)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Argentina Northeast present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Bolivia present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Northeast present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil South present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil Southeast present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Brazil West-Central present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Paraguay present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Heliophilous and saxicolous, the species is distributed in cerrado vegetation from central Brazil to northern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, and northern Argentina. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • Drude (1881I) cited two collections in the original description of D. campestre Mart. var. orbignyi. However, the collection made by Burchell (5750) is sterile and has no reproductive information included in the protologue; it is a confusing reference for the species, because vegetatively it has been here identified as A campestris. The collection made by Weddell (1861) has been selected because it corresponds entirely with the Drude's original description.
    Moore (1895) described a new species, Diplothemium jangadense, collected near the jangada forests in Mato Grosso (Brazil), which was distinguished from D. leucocalyx by the number of stamens, leaf length, and density of papillose hairs in staminate flowers. Barbosa Rodrigues (1898) argued that the morphological variability of D. leucocalyx resulted from the type of soils, so he included D. jangadense as a synonym of D. leucocalyx.
    Barbosa Rodrigues (1899) described Diplothemium anisitsii from Paraguay in honor of Juan Anizitz, Director of the Hortus Fluminensis in Rio de Janeiro; the spelling of the species epithet was corrected later by Barbosa Rodrigues (1903). This species description was based on fruiting specimens and was distinguished from other acaulescent species (e.g., D. campestre, D. lillorale, and D. leucocalyx) by the distribution of floccose scales on the fruit. Nonetheless, the presence of papillose hairs on the calyx margin is quite variable in A. leucocalyx. A similar type of hairs is present in A. arenaria and A. campestris.
    Although the description of Drude (1881) was emphatic about glaucous papillose hairs on the calyx of staminate flowers (from which the species epithet leucocalyx comes), the most constant characters are number of stamens (9-11) and the length of the petiole and peduncle. In the present revision, the length of the peduncle was the most important reason why A. anisitsii and A. campestris var. orbignyi were synonymized under A. leucocalyx; A. campestris has a petiole 15-40 cm in length, whereas A. leucocalyx reaches 50-90 cm. Another reason was the angle at which the groups of pinnae are inserted on the rachis. Allagoptera leucocalyx also differs from A. campestris in having whitish and wider pinnae (Drude, 1881). (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A

Common Name

  • Brazil: côco da chapada, guriri , cacho pequeno, côco de vassoura, jataí rasteiro; Bolivia: motacú-chí, chonta de la pampa, motacú enano, totaicillo; Paraguay: yatay poni , gra-cha-ré (Apinajé). (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • The mesocarp and seeds are edible. The leaves are used as brooms, and the plant is grown as an ornamental. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • Plant 1-2.5 m tall; stem to 10 cm long, subterranean.
    Leaves 6-30; sheath and petiole smooth and glabrous; sheath base 10-70 cm long, tubular, orange, fibrous; petiole 25-70 cm long. 1-1.5 mm diam., glabrous or with scarce ramenta; rachis 65-95 cm long, with a continuous white waxy layer or with sparsely brown glands; pinnae 30-72 per side, elongatelanceolate, with acute tips, regularly inserted in groups of 2-3(-4), 3-6 cm apart, spreading in different angles, in each group the apical pinnae inserted toward the apex, the basal pinnae inserted downward along the petiole, thickened at base with or without ramenta, acute apex asymmetrically split for 0.5-2.5 cm, with evident midrib adaxially, depressed abaxially, with transverse veinlets evident adaxially, light green glaucous and waxy adaxially, green to brown glaucous abaxially, with two longitudinal lines with ramenta abaxially; basal pinnae 30-45 x 0.4-0.6 cm; middle pinnae 30-50 x 0.9-2 cm; apical pinnae 8-12 x 0.2-0.5 cm.
    Inflorescences 58-105 cm long; peduncle 50-90 cm long, ca. 0.5 cm diam., slender, fimbriate, glabrous to scarcely covered with ramenta with papillose margins; rachilla 8-15 cm long, bearing membranous bracteoles; prophyll 30-40 cm, tubular, membranous to woody; peduncular bract 75-105 cm long, ca. 2.2 cm diam., apiculate 2.5-3.5 cm, not inflated above, woody, sulcate, green with sparse ramenta externally, muricate and brown internally; peduncular bracts 1(2), brown, scarious, apiculate, at 2 cm from apex of peduncle. Staminate flowers ca. 3 mm long, pedicel <1 mm long, inserted parallel; sepals connate basally, smooth, coriaceous. With papillose hairs on margins; petals valvate, free, muricate, coriaceous, ca. 5 x 2 mm; stamens 9-10 distally, 14-15 proximally, ca. 5 mm long, the filaments not columnar, the anthers ca. 1 mm long, slightly sagittate at both ends; pistillode simple to trifid. Pistillate flowers inserted on proximal 2-6.5 cm of rachilla, fibrous; sepals free, triangular, ca. 5 x 3 mm, imbricate to the right, glabrous with papillose hairs on margins; petals free, triangular, ca. 7 x 3 mm, contorted to the left, glabrous or with papillose hairs on margins; staminodial ring discontinuous and irregular with 5 short teeth; pistil conical , ca. 4 x 2 mm; stigma capitate or trifid to 2 mm long, glabrous.
    Fruit ovoid to ellipsoid , densely covered by floccose yellow-orange hairs to apex, 2-2.5 cm long, ca. 1.5 cm diam., perpendicular to rachilla, the stigmatic remnants with stigmas trifid and erect to 3 mm, the persistent perianth to ½, or near apex of fruit; seed 1. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A

Materials Examined

  • BRAZIL. BAHIA: Caetité, Passagem da Pedra, 9 km S from the city, 26 May 1985 (fl), Noblick & Clodoaldo 3785 (LPB, NY); Riacho do Sul, 9 km E from Crisópolis, BR 242, 680 m. 13 Oct 1988 (fl, fr), Noblick & Lima 4618 (LPB, NY); 12 km S from the city on rd. to Côcos, 660 m. 18 Oct 1988 (fl), Noblick & Lima 4642 (LPB); 31 km W from Côcos, on rd. to serra Su?uarana, Riacho do Meio, Samambaia, 600 m, 20 Oct 1988 (fl), Noblick & Lima 4651 (LPB). GOIAS: Chapadados Veadeiros, 13 km S from Terezina, 1000 m. 19 Mar 1973 (fl, fr), Anderson 7494 (BH, MO, NY, UB); Serra dos Cristais, 12 km N from Cristalina, 1060 m, 3 Apr 1973 (fl), Anderson 8023 (F, K, NY); São João, ca. 20 km W from Tocantinópolis, 8 Sep 1983 (fl), Balick et al. 1572 (NY); without locality, n.d., Burchell 6559 (P); 26 km NE from Rio Verde, rd. BR 060, 31 Aug 1976 (fr), Glassman 13069 (NY); rd. GO-020, Rio dos Macacos, 8 Oct 1981 (fr), Hatschbach 44084 (NY); Bálsamo, 19 Jul 1951 (fl), Macedo 3326 (US).
    MATO GROSSO: MT BR 163, on rd. Cuiabá-Sinop, 145 km S from Sinop, near Lucas do Rio Verde, 17 Sep 1985 (fr). Cid Ferreira et al. 6067 (NY); Serra do Roncador, ca. 84 km N from Xavantina, 550 m, 2 Jun 1966 (fl, fr), Irwin et al. 16472 (BH, NY, UB); 23 km E from Aquidauana, 3 Jul 1977, Krapovickas & Schinini 32905 (CTES); Santo Antonio de Leverger, BR-163, km 367, 6.6 km W from Rio Bamba, 3 Jun 1985 (fl), Krapovickas et al. 40227(CTES, F); Rio Verde of Mato Grosso, 600 m, 9 Jun 1974 (fr), Martinelli 365 (RB); Acurizal, 9 Jun 1979 (fl), Prance et al. 26114 (NY); Cachoeira São Simão, river Juruena, 21 May 1977, Rosa & Santos 1961 (BH, F); Pocone, fazenda São Vicente do Rio Claro, 100 m, 4 Oct 1986 (fl, fr), Scariot 11 (NY).
    MINAS GERAIS: Sertão do Amaro Leite, São Antonio, Sep-Oct 1844, Weddell 2492 (P), Sep-Oct 1844 (fl), Weddell 2688 (P, U).
    PARANA: Sete Quedas, 17 Sep 1981 (fr). Hatschbach 43985 (NY); Douradina. 29 Oct t 959 (fl), Lange & Braga 6509 (US).
    PIAUI: Pernambuco, river Preto. Santa Rosa, Sep 1841 (fl, fr), Gardner 2971 pp. (NY).
    BOLIVIA. BENI: 19 km on rd. San Borja-La Paz. 240 m, 22 Jul 1981 (fr), Beck 6965 (LPB, US); 202 km to Santa Rosa, 6 km before Sheraton, 20 Oct 1991 (fl), Beck 20644 (LPB); Estación Biológica Beni, El Totaizal, on rd. San Borja-Trinidad, 50 km E from San Borja, 14°35'S, 66°24'W. 250 m. 16 Sep 1987 (fl, fr). Moraes 902 (LPB); 50 km SW from Espíritu, on rd. to San Borja, 240 m, 20 Mar 1989 (fl, fr), Moraes 1309 (LPB); 50 km N Trinidad- San Joaquín, 2 Nov 1993 (fl, fr), Moraes 1461 (LPB); near Laguna Rogagua, 1000 m, Mar 1921 (fl), Rusby 1412 (NY); 35 km E from Riberalta on rd. to Guayaramerín. 230 m, 12 Sep 1981 (fl, fr), Solomon 6246 (LPB, MO, NY); Estación Bio1ógica Beni, El Totaizal, on rd. San Borja-Trinidad, 50 km E from San Borja, 14°35'S, 66°24'W, 250 m, Normandia lake, 250 m, 14 Nov 1985 (fr), Solomon 14723 (LPB, MO); Estación Biológica Beni, N from EI Porvenir to El Triunfo. 250 m, 4 Jun 1988 (fl), Villanueva & Foster 798 (LPB).
    LA PAZ: 40 km N from Ixiamas, 9 Aug 1990 (fr), Sarmiento 13 (LPB).
    SANTA CRUZ: N slope of Serranía Santiago, 10 km ENE from Santiago de Chiquitos, 900 m, 21 Jul 1983 (fl), Daly et al. 2245 (LPB); Santa Isabel, 20-35 km SSE from Santiago de Chiquitos, 400 m, 22 Jul 1983 (fl, fr), Daly et al. 2296 (K. LPB, MO, NY); 12 km N from El Puente, on rd. from Santa Cruz to Ascención de Guarayos, 12 Aug 1983 (fl. fr). Hopkins et al. 171 (LPB. NY); 3 km N from Santiago de Chiquitos, 700 m, 19 Oct 1987 (fl, fr), Killeen 2808 (LPB, NY); 21 km S from San Ignacio, on rd. to San Miguel, small river Riñanema, 400 m, 7 May 1977, Krapovickas & Schinini 32303 (BH. CTES, F); 8 km NE from San José, 300 m. 27 Apr 1980 (fl), Krapovickas & Scllinini 36567 (BH); W of Prov. Velasco, Jul 1892 (fl, fr), Kuntze s.n. (F, MO, NY, US); 18 km SW on rd. from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba, Magué, 400 m, 16 May 1988 (fl). Moraes & Henderson 1054 (AAU, LPB, NY), 6 km NW from Terevinto, 450 m, 29 Aug 1987 (fl, fr), Nee & Coimbra 35835 (NY); 5 km SE from Ascención de Guarayos, 250 m, 7 Sep 1990 (fl), Nee 38633 (LPB, NY); 4 km N from Buena Vista, on rd. to laguna Madrejón, 315 m, 31 Oct 1990 (fr), Nee 39655 (LPB, NY); 2 km S from Estancia Flor de Oro, W from river Guaporé, 190 m, 28 Jun 1991 (fl, fr), Nee 41487 (NY); on rd. from Santa Cruz to Camiri, 1 km N from Pedro Lorenzo, 500 m, 17 Dec 1992 (fr), Nee 43119 (LPB, NY); without locality, 1830-1833 (fr), d'Orbigny 12 (P); 7 km ENE from Santiago de Chiquitos, 600 m, 21 Nov 1989 (fr), Saldias et al. 943 (NY), 5 km NE from Santiago, 850 m, 27 Jul 1982 (fl), Till 131-S (WU).
    PARAGUAY. ALTO PARAGUAY: Chovoreca, 12 Aug 1983 (fl, fr), Hahn 1605 (AAU, BH. K. MO, NY).
    AMAMBAY: National Park Cerro Corá, 17 Aug 1980 (fl, fr), Sehinini & Bordas 20289 (CTES, F). 21 Aug 1980 (fl), Schinini & Bordas 20320 (CTES, F); 30 km SE from Bella Vista, 24 Apr 1977, Krapovickas: & Schinini 32669 (CTES); Cerro Chanchito, 28 Aug 1980 (fr), Schinini; & Bordas 20393 (CTES, F, G); Ruta 3, 35 km SE from Bella Vista, 24 Aug 1980 (fl), Sehinini & Bordas 20564 (CTES, F); 50 km SE from Bella Vista, 24 Aug 1980 (fr), Schinini & Bordas 20587 (CTES, F, G).
    CANENDIYU: lpé-Hú, Oct 1898-1899 (fl), Hassler 6082 (G).
    CONCEPCÓN : Near Estancia Centurión, 200 m, 19 Apr 1980, Bernardi 20665 (NY). CORDILLERA: Tobatí, Cerro Tabatí, 4 Dec 1987, Degen & Zardini 579 (CTES); Cordillera de Altos, Oct 1885- 1895 (fl), Hassler 1257 p.p. (G, P); Tobatí, Cerro Tobatí, Sep 1900 (fl), Hassler 6276 (G), 28 Dec 1973 (fr), Schinini 7913 (CTES, F, G); Itú Mi, rd. 2, 5 km E from Caáupe, 22 Apr 1978 (fr), Schinini 14806 (BH, CTES, F); Colonia Rosado, near Tobatí, 200 m, 26 Oct 1986, Schinini & Bordas 24877 (CTES).
    PARAGUARI: National Park Ybycui. 1 Oct 1985. Gentry et al. 51964 (K).
    ARGENTINA. M ISIONES: Departamento San Ignacio, Teyú Cuaré, 8 km SW from San Ignacio, 18 Nov 1981 (fr), Cabral et al. 182 (G). (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • It is found at 200-700 m on sandy white and gray soils, red latisols, or rocks in savannas and ravines. Rarely it grows at elevations up to 1060 m on the tops of savanna hills. It grows in a transition zone between savanna (cerrado) and pantanal ( flooded) vegetation, as well as in open forests, the margins of forest islands, and gallery forests. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A

Use Record

  • Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze: Antiguamente sus hojas eran utilizadas por los pobladores de los pueblos de Porongo, Terebinto, y otros cercanos a Santa Cruz, donde fabricaban escobas, cestas, sombreros, etc. Y los traín a vender a la capital. Sus frutos se siguen consumiendo por los niños de estas poblaciones. Sus hojas sirven de forraje a los animales caballares y vacunos; además, otros animales silvestres se nutren de sus frutos. (Moreno Suárez, L., and O.I. Moreno Suárez 2006: Colecciones de las palmeras de Bolivia)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Animal FoodFodderEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    CulturalCloth and accessoriesEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze: El 59% de las especies (13 spp.) reportaron el uso alimenticio tanto de frutos, como de semillas, palmito u otros derivados de estos; cinco de estas especies son utilizadas exclusivamente para este fin, Allagoptera leucocalyx, Bactris hirta y B. major son buscadas solamente por sus frutos, mientras que Dictyocaryum lamarckianum y Euterpe luminosa son extraidas ocasionalmente por el palmito. (Paniagua Zambrana, N.Y. 2001: Guía de plantas útiles de la comunidad de San José de Uchupiamonas)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze: El mesocarpo es comestible cuando los frutos maduran; las semillas son removidas y también son comidas. Las hojas son ocasionalmente usadas como escobas. (Moraes, M. 1991: Contribución al estudio del ciclo biológico de la palma Copernicia alba en un área ganadera (Espíritu, Beni, Bolivia))
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Utensils and ToolsDomesticEntire leafNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
    Human FoodFoodSeedsNot identifiedN/ABolivia
  • Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze: Fruit. (Moraes, M., J. Sarmiento,and E. Oviedo 1995: Richness and uses in a diverse palm site in Bolivia)
    Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
    Human FoodFoodFruitsNot identifiedN/ABolivia


    A. Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae