Dictyocaryum ptarianum (Steyerm.) H.E.Moore & Steyerm., Acta Bot. Venez. 2: 139 (1967)

Primary tabs



  • The recent collections from lowland Colombia and Peru greatly extend the range of this species, and raise many questions about its former range. These lowland localities may represent relicts of a much wider range for the species.

    Dictyocaryum ptariense is most similar to D. fuscum, differing only in its smaller staminate flowers. (Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53)A

Common Name

  • Colombia: bombona paso. Peru: pona colorada (Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53)A


    • The leaves are used for thatching, and the stems split and used to make walls and floors. (Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53)A


    • Stem solitary or occasionally cespitose, cylindrical, 10-15(-20) m tall, 14-20 cm in diam., smooth; stilt roots to 1.2 m long, to 4 cm diam., brown, with blunt spines. Leaves 4-5, spreading; sheaths forming a compact crownshaft, 60-70(-125) cm long, outer surface densely covered with simple, hyaline trichomes, glabrescent; petiole 25-30 cm long, 2-4.5 cm in diam., shallowly grooved adaxially, rounded abaxially, whitish-brown-tomentose; rachis 1.7-3 m long, ridged adaxially, rounded abaxially; pinnae 23-37 per side, subopposite, cuneate with entire margins and blunt praemorse apices, green and glabrous adaxially, gray-white-waxy abaxially with regularly scattered minute brown scales and with lines 3-5 mm wide of dense brown tomentum running parallel to the veins, split to the base into 2-8 stiff segments inserted at different angles and radiating in different planes; veins prominent abaxially, yellow, 1-several per pinna, sparsely covered with trichomes, especially near point of insertion; proximal pinna split into 1-3 segments, proximal segment to 70 cm long and 3 cm wide at mid-point; middle pinna split into 4-8 segments, proximal segment to 86 cm long and 3 cm wide at mid-point, distal segment 86-98 cm long and 8 cm wide; apical pinna entire, flabellate, 28 cm long, 9 cm wide at mid-point. Inflorescence pendulous and horn-shaped in bud, pendulous at anthesis and to 1.4 m long; peduncle terete, curved, 25-35 cm long, ca. 2 cm diam., at first densely brown-tomentose, glabrescent, at anthesis with prophyll and 8-10 peduncular bract scars; prophyll inserted at base of peduncle, caducous, ancipitous, 9-12 cm long, splitting api-cally; peduncular bracts 8-10, inserted 1-4 cm apart, the proximal 3 ca. 13-22 cm long, coriaceous, the distal remainder up to 90 cm long, woody, the most distal 2-3 incomplete; prophyll and peduncular bracts with moderate to dense covering on outside of hyaline or brown trichomes; rachis 20-30 cm long; rachillae 50-80, spirally inserted, cream-colored at anthesis, glabrous or with a moderate covering of branched short trichomes, with a proximal flattened sterile section to 5 cm long, proximal ones to 50 cm long and branched into 2-7 rachillae, distal ones to 40 cm long and unbranched, 2 mm in diam. at mid-point at anthesis (thickening to 3-4 mm in fruit), each subtended by a strongly cucullate bract to 3 cm long proximally to virtually absent distally; triads spirally arranged, to 3 mm apart, surrounded by a vestigial bract; flowers proximally in triads, distally staminate in pairs or solitary, cream-colored; staminate flowers 3.5-4 mm long; sepals ovate-deltoid, strongly gibbous, 1 x 1.5 mm, very shortly connate proximally, imbricate distally; petals ovate, 3 x 1.5 mm, free, valvate; stamens six; filaments 0.5 mm high, triangular; anthers 3 mm high, sub-basifixed, the-cae briefly free proximally; pistillode very short, 3-lobed; pollen with clavate-rugulate exine; pistillate flowers 2 mm long; sepals ovate-deltoid, gibbous, 1 x 2 mm, shortly connate proximally, imbricate distally, ciliate; petals widely ovate, 2 x 2 mm, imbricate proximally, valvate distally; staminodes six, dentiform, 0.5 mm high; stigmas sessile, triangular, 1 mm long, erect at anthesis; ovary 3-locular with one ovule developing, 1 mm high, glabrous; fruit more or less globose, 3-3.5 x 2-3 cm, stigmatic scat basal; epicatp smooth, yellowish-brown at maturity and splitting irregularly; mesocarp 3-4 mm thick, white; endocarp papery; seed globose, raphe branches reticulate, spreading; hilum rounded; embryo basal; eophyll bifid. (Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53)A

    Materials Examined

    • COLOMBIA. AMAZONAS: Araracuara, rd. to Puerto Arturo, "Guacharos," 360 m, 18 Sep 1987, Galeano & Huitoto 1281 (NY).?PERU. LORETO: Lower Rio Ucayali river basin, Je-naro Herrera, 4°55'S, 73°40'W, 160 m, 9 Jim 1988 (fr), Kahn 2310 (NY); 9 Jun 1988, Kahn 2314 (NY); 18 Jul 1986 (fl), Mejia 725 (NY). VENEZUELA. AMAZONAS: Dpto. Atures, valley of Rio Coro-coro, W of Serrania de Yutaje, 5°41'N, 66°09'W, 1100 m, 7 Mar 1987 (fr), Hoist & Liesner 3359 (NY); Cerro Sipapo, above Cano Grande, 1500 m, 21 Jan 1949 (fl), Maguire & Politi 28510 (NY). BOLIVAR: Rio Chilca, region of Wrinumu, Aug 1953, Bernardi 941 (NY); Rio Tehuanen camp between Kavanayen and Ptari-tepui, 1240 m, 20 Aug 1970 (fl, fr), Moore et al. 9832 (BH, VEN); Fila de la Danta, between campamento 125 and km 127, between Luepa and Cerro Venamo, 1200 m, 15-17 Apr 1960 (fl), Steyermark & Nilsson 269 (BH, NY); upper reaches of Rio Tirica between SE part of Apacara-tepui and W part of Chimanta-tepui, 1700 m, 24 Jun 1953 (fl), Steyermark 75979 (F, MO, NY); Sierra de Lema, Rio Chi-canan, 80 km SE of El Dorado, 6°5'N, 62°W, 700 m, 22 Aug 1961, Steyermark 89402 (BH, VEN); Cerro Venamo, Rio Venamo, 900-1000 m, 8 Jan 1964 (fl), Steyermark 92883 (BH, NY, VEN); Auyan-tepui, below "Danto" and toward Guayaraca, 1000-1480 m, 18 May 1964 (fr), Steyermark 94146 (BH, VEN, NY); Cerro Guaquinima, E of Rio Paragua, 63°40'W, 1300 m, 9 Apr 1979, Steyermark & Dunsterville 117948 (VEN). GUYANA. ESSEQUIBO: Upper Mazaruni District, E slopes of Eboropu mountain, 3-5 mi upstream on Saydak Creek from its junction with Kako River, 5°41'N, 60°40'W, 470-1030 m, 15 Apr 1979, Edwards 1308 (K); Mount Roraima, Paikwa trail, 1400 m, 28 Oct 1973, Persaud 111 (NY); Mount Roraima, Waruma trail, 1400 m, 29 Oct 1973, Persaud 119 (NY); Partang River, Merume Mountains, 800 m, 7 Jul 1960 (fr), Tillett et al. 44841 (NY).? (Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53)A

    Use Record

    • Dictyocaryum ptarianum (Steyerm.) H.E.Moore & Steyerm.: La corteza externa del tronco está formada por fibras gruesas y rígidas, es extremadamente dura y por ello los troncos rajados son utilizados para hacer los pisos de las casas. Las hojas son utilizadas para techar y pueden durar hasta cinco años cuando son secadas a fuego lento, mediante humo. (Galeano, G. 1992: Las palmas de la región de Araracuara)
      Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
      ConstructionThatchEntire leafNot identifiedN/AColombia
      ConstructionHousesStemNot identifiedN/AColombia
    • Dictyocaryum ptarianum (Steyerm.) H.E.Moore & Steyerm.: Se hace mojojoy, rancho provisional y yaripa. También sirvió para rallador y la cáscara para platon. (Kronik, J. et al. 1999: Fééjahisuu. Palmas de los Nietos de la Tierra y Montaña Verde del Centro)
      Use CategoryUse Sub CategoryPlant PartHuman GroupEthnic GroupCountry
      ConstructionThatchEntire leafIndigenousMuinaneColombia
      Utensils and ToolsDomesticRootIndigenousMuinaneColombia
      Utensils and ToolsDomesticLeaf sheathIndigenousMuinaneColombia
      ConstructionHousesNot specifiedIndigenousMuinaneColombia


      A. Henderson, A. 1990: Introduction and the Iriarteinae. – Flora Neotropica Monographs 53