Allagoptera brevicalyx M.Moraes, Brittonia 45: 21 (1993)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Brazil Northeast present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to Bahia and Sergipe. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • This species varies greatly in the insertion of pinnae, which may be regular or irregular. Because of its sympatric distribution it has been identified as Allagoptera arenada since 1835, when the first collection was made by Blanchet. It is a very distinctive species by its short perianth which persists in fruit. Also distinctive are the turbinate, glabrous fruits, the irregularly arranged pinnae wilh a lobed apex, the dense layer of white hairs on the rachis and on the spicate inflorescence, and the incompletely fused calyx of the staminate flowers. Allagoplera brevicalyx is also distinctive by its occasional 2 m long stem, and a thick waxy layer on the adaxial leaf surface. Neither of these is present elsewhere in the genus. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A

Common Name

  • Brazil: cachandó. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • Plant 1-2 m tall, stem to 2 m long, subterranean.
    Leaves (2-)4-8; sheath and petiole densely tomentose; petiole 10-20 cm long, ca. 5 mm diam., densely covered with beige woolly indumentum; rachis 40-70 cm long, densely woolly-waxy; pinnae 25-40 per side, short lanceolate, with lobed tips, irregularly inserted in obscure groups of 1-4, 2-3 cm apart, spreading or appressed to rachis at various angles, plicate at base and densely covered with woolly hairs and ramenta, with evident midrib on both surfaces, with transverse veinlets not evident, green and lustrous adaxially, glaucous abaxially, the obtuse apex asymmetrically split for 0.5-4 cm; basal pinnae 15-25 x 0.4-1.8 cm; middle pinnae 10-22 x 0.7-2 cm; apical pinnae 4-9 x 0.2-0.9 cm.
    Inflorescences 55-95 cm long; peduncle 45-80 cm long, 0.4-0.6 cm diam., slender, muricate, scarcely to densely covered with floccose hairs and brownish scales; rachilla 10-15 cm long, bearing whitish woolly hairs; prophyll 25-30 cm, tubular, scarious; peduncular bract 50-90 cm long, 1.7-4 cm diam., apiculate, inflated above, woody, sulcate, beige-waxy externally, glabrous and brownish violet internally; peduncular bracts 1 or 2, brown scarious, dentate, at 2.5 em from apex of peduncle. Staminate flowers 3-4.5 mm long, pedicel to 1 mm, long , inserted parallel to perpendicular; sepals connate to the middle, glabrous, membranous, 2 ca. 2.5 x 1.5 mm, one larger ca. 3.5 x 1.5 mm, much smaller than the petals; petals valvate, connate to the middle, glabrous, membranous, ca. 6 x 2 mm; stamens 15, ca. 6 mm long, the filaments not columnar, ca. 1.5 mm long, the anthers ca. 4 mm long, sagittate at both ends; pistillode trifid. Pistillate flowers inserted on proximal 5-12 cm of rachilla, fibrous; sepals free, triangular, 3-5 x 3 mm, contorted to the left, glabrous, irregular to dentate on margin; petals free, triangular, 3-5 x 3 mm, imbricate to the right , glabrous; staminodial ring adnate to petals; pistil conical, 3-5 mm; stigma capitate, <1 mm with 3 short branches, wrinkled, glabrous.
    Fruit ovoid to turbinate, glabrous, 1.5-2 cm long, ca. 1.3 cm diam., perpendicular to rachilla, the stigmatic remnants truncate with stigmas sessile and minute, the persistent perianth <½, of fruit; seed 1. (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A

Materials Examined

  • BRAZIL. BAHIA: Pidôbe, ca. 6 mi. from the coast, 1835 (fl), Blanchet s.n. (G); without locality, n.d. (fr), Bondar 23 (F); Itapoá, Abieté lake, 10?20 m, 23 Sep 1976 (fl), Davis 61032 (F); central part of the state, Oct 1942 (fl), Krukoff 12631 (NY); ca. 35 km NE from Salvador, 3 km NE from Itapoá, 30 Aug 1978 (fl), Morawetz & Marawetz 21-30878 (BH); Urubu lake, 12 Dec 1985 (fl), Noblick & Brito 4473 (LPB); 5 km W from Altamira, I Dec 1988 (fl, fr), Noblick & Soeiro 4702 (LPB, NY); lake on rd. to Conde, 15 Feb 1978 (fr), Orlandi 140 (RB). SERGIPE: BR 101, on rd. between Estãncia and Aracajú, 11°15'S, 37°16'W, 16 Jun 1994 (fr), Mattos et al. 3023 (NY). (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


  • Restricted to xeromorphic vegetation of sandy coastal dunes and cerrado. The species is distributed to 40 km inland from the Atlantic coast and occurs from sea level to >20 m; it is also distributed at 100-150 m in cerrado and restinga vegetation on white sandy soils (Esplanada). The geographic distribution of Allagoplera brevicalyx covers an area with restinga, xeromorphic forests, and a low shrub woodland found on sandy soils and white sand dunes in the coastal region with a reduced superficial humus (Entre Rios, Salvador). The restricted distribution of Allagoplera brevicalyx in Bahia and Sergipe, and its occurrence in xeromorphic vegetation conforms to a high level of endemism that has been registered in the northeastern flora of Brazil in an area known as the caatinga region (Andrade-Lima, 1982). (Mónica Moraes: Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera, ser. 73)A


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