Aiphanes lindeniana (H.Wendl.) H.Wendl., Palmiers : 230 (1878)

Primary tabs

no image available


Endemic to Colombia, where it is widely distributed along the CordilIeras Oriental and Central, from the junction of these and northwards to the department of Antioquia in Cordillera Central and at least to the department of Norte del Santander in Cordillera Oriental. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • It grows in humid, frequently cloudy zones between 1900 and 2700 m, and it is often a conspicuous element in the upper montane forest. It is often conserved in deforested areas, where it seems unable to regenerate by seeds. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Aiphanes lindeniana is variable with respect to size and form of the pinnae, size of the inflorescence, and the length of the basal flowerless part of the rachillae. It is closely related to the south Ecuadorean A. verrucoso, under which the differences are discussed. In general terms A. Lindeniana can be distinguished by its caespitose habit; fierce armature of stem, leaves, and inflorescences; numerous, densely inserted, linear to narrowly cuneate, often very rigid pinnae, normally with a characteristic row of thin spines adaxially on the midrib; glabrous pistil; and red fruits, with an almost smooth endocarp. Leaves are mostly distichous, but this character presents some variation, and individuals with polystichous leaves are known from the northern parts of Cordilleras Central and Oriental.
    Occasionally, distichous and polystichous leaves occur in the same population (Gentry et al. 47724, 47756). Leaf anatomy is also variable; specimens from the northern part of Cordillera Oriental (Bernal & Galeano 1352; Grant 10538) have the non-vascular fiber strands arranged in a single layer of relatively thick bundles, an arrangement otherwise encountered only in A. eggersii ; specimens from localities further south (Gentry 47756) have fibers arranged in 2-3 layers of thinner bundles showing a transition to the pattern found in A. verrucosa from southern Ecuador. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Common Name

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


  • Caespitose, with up to 10 stems, rarely 1-stemmed. Stems 1.5-7 m tall, 3-7(-10) cm diam., armed with black spines, to 10 cm long. Leaves 4-10, distichous or more rarely polystichous; sheath 15-42 cm long, densely armed with black spines, to 12 cm long; petiole 6-56 cm, with a white or brown, caducous indument, and numerous black spines, to 8 cm long; rachis 38-172 cm long, with indument and armature like that on the petiole, but spines fewer and shorter; pinnae 18-45 per side, inserted in groups of 2-7 separated by up to 11 cm, lanceolate to narrowly cuneate, (3.5-)5- 11 times as long as wide, often strongly plicate, truncate- or obliquely praemorse at apex, with an up to 2.5 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, nearly glabrous or spinulose, especially abaxially, margins lined with 1-2 mm long spinules, midrib adaxially with a row of thin spines, to 1 cm long, abaxially with 1-6 rigid spines, to 2.5 cm long; basal pinnae 6.5-20.5 x 0.6-1.5 cm; middle pinnae 16-34 x 1-7 cm; apical pinnae 2-7 ribbed, 8-18 x 2-13.5 cm. Inflorescence interfoliar, erect, branched to 1 order; prophyll 21-47 x 1.1-3.4 cm; peduncular bract 57-142 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, thick, with a thin, brown, caducous indument, unarmed or with black spines, to 3 cm long; peduncle 32-100 cm, with a brown indument, sparsely to densely armed with black spines; rachis 18-46 cm long, unarmed or armed for a variable part of the length with black, crimped spines, to 1 cm long; rachillae 16-68, densely covered with minute, brown or ferruginous spinules, ca. 0.1 mm long; basal rachillae 16-42 cm long, without flowers for 0.5 to 26 cm basally, with triads for ½-?of the remaining length, in this part 2-5 mm diam., distally ca. 1 mm diam., with dyads of staminate flowers; apical rachillae 3.5-14 cm long, staminate; flower groups slightly sunken into the rachillae; triads subtended by a small bract, covering up to ?4 of the pistillate flower; dyads subtended by a minute triangular bract. Staminate flowers white to violet, 2-3 mm long; sepals imbricate, briefly connate at base, 2-3 mm long; petals 2-3 mm long, nearly free; filaments ca. 1 mm long, anthers almost square to linear, 0.6-1.4 x 0.6-0.8 mm; pistillode small, trifid. Pistillate flowers 3-7 mm long; sepals imbricate, 3.5-7 mm long; petals connate for ½ of their length, valvate distally, ca. 4 mm long; staminodial cup ca. 2 mm high, briefly dentatc; pistil glabrous, ca. 3 mm long. Fruits red or orange, subglobose, slightly rostrate, 14-16 mm diam.; endocarp 13-16 mm diam., slightly pitted toward apex. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Materials Examined

  • COLOMBIA. ANTIOQUIA: Mun. de Cocorná, hWy. Medellín-Bogotá km 62, quebrada La Roca, 2000 m, 13 Sep 1980 (fl), Galeano & Bernal 253, 254 (COL); Mun. de Medellín, vereda Santa Helena, 12 km E of Medellín, 2400 m, 18 Dec 1980 (fl, imm fr), Galeano et al. 331 (COL); Mun. de Santa Rosa de Osos. ca. 10 km NE of village, Cerro San José, 2630 m, 7 Jan 1985 (fl), Bernal & Galeano 849 (AAU, COL); MUn. de Santa Rita, 5 km E of Guatapé, 2000 m, 17 Sep 1987 (fl), Bernal & Tobón 1375 (AAU, COL); vicinity of La Unión, 2600 m, 21 Aug 1948 (fl, fr), Barkley & Johnson 18C864 (COL, MEDEL).
    BOYACA: Mun. de Arcabuco, 3 km on rd. to La Palma. 2700 m, 14 Mar 1987 (fl). Bernal & Galeano 1334 (AAU, COL), 1335 (COL); between Moniquirá and Arcabuco, 2150 m, 25 Feb 1940 (fl, fr), Pérez-Arbelaez & Cuatrecasas 8173 (COL); quebrada near Río Cusiana, 1900 m, 23 Jul 1967 (imm fr), Jaramillo el al. 2750 (COL). CUNDINAMARCA: Las Mesitas, S side Guavio River, 20 km NE of Gachala, 2135 m, 30 Oct 1944 (st), Grant 10538 (BH, COL, NY); Los Arenillos, near rd. to Fusagasugá, 2700 m, 18 Apr 1946 (fr), Duque-Jaramillo 3367 (COL); San Antonio de Tena, vereda Chicaque, 1900 m, 15 Mar 1980 (fr), Idrobo 9501 (COL); rd. from Zupatá, 6 km before Pacho. 25 Feb 1985 (fr), Galeano et al. 564 (COL). HUILA: La Plata, Finca Merenberg E of Volcan Puracé, 100 km E of Popayan, near Cauca border E of Leticia, 2200-2300 m, 11 Jul 1975 (fr), Diaz et al. 453 (COL); 5 Dec 1980 (fr). Croat 51923 (MO); 7 Jul 1984 (fl, fr), Gentry et al. 47724 (MO. NY); 8 Jul 1984 (fl, fr), Gentry et al. 47756 (MO. NY); 4 Apr 1986 (fr), Gentry et al. 53978 (K).
    HUILA-CAQUETA: Gabinete. 2300-2450 m , 22 Mar 1940 (fl, imm fr), Cuatrecasas 8473 (COL); rd . Algeciras- Aguas Claras. 2000 m, 7 Feb 1985 (fl), Henderson & Bernal 125, 126 (COL. NY). QUINDIO: rd. Salento-La Ceja, 2520 m. 25 Nov 1986 (imm fr). G Arbeláez et al. 1842 (HUQ). RISARALDA: Mun. de Pereira, between El Cedral and La Pastora, 2250-2350 m, 14 Jun 1989 (fr), Galeano et al. 2061 (COL); La Pastora, 2320 m. 30 Jul 1989 (fr). M. P. Galeano 199 (COL); 14 Oct 1989 67 (st), Rangel et al. 5948 (COL); Parque Natural Regional Ucumari, 2200-2450 m, 14 Jun 1989 (fr), González et al. 1685 (COL); Mun. de Santa Rosa, between Termales and Páramo de Santa Rosa, 2500 m, 18 Jul 1980 (fl), Idrobo el al. 9728 (COL). Santander: Charalá, rd. Duitama-Virolín, km 50-55, vereda EI Taladro, 2250-2300 m, 6 Dec 1978 (fl), Diaz 1634 (COL); rd. to Piedecuesta, 7 km S of rd. from Bucaramanga to Pamplona, 2200 m, 18 Mar 1987 (fl), Bernal & Galeano 1352 (AAU, COL). TOLlMA: Santa Isabel, cerro Purima, 2540 m, 1 Aug 1980 (fem fl), Idrobo et al. 10400 (COL) (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


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