Euterpe edulis Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 33 (1824)

Primary tabs

no image available


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Argentina Northeast 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
Atlantic coast of Brazil and adjacent areas (Alagoas, Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sui, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe) and just reaching northeastern Argentina (Misiones) and southeastern Paraguay (Alto Paraná); rain forest on steep slopes, rarely in inundated areas, at 0-1000 m.
This species can form large stands on ridges and valley slopes, especially on quartzite and sandy soils. It also colonizes areas where the forest has been disturbed. (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A


  • Plants from near Santa Theresa in Espírito Santo, Brazil, were described by Boudet Fernandes (1989) as a new species, Euterpe espiritosantensis. In our treatment we consider that the characters used to define the new species fall into the range of variation of Euterpe edulis. This taxon, like most other species in the genus, is wide ranging and variable, with many local races and forms. One interesting feature of this form is that the pinnae are sometimes loosely clustered. (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A

Common Name

  • Argentina: yayih; Brazil: coco de palmito, coco de jissara, coco de usara, ensarova, icara, incara, iucara, jicara, jocara, jucoara, jucara, jucara vermelho, jucara branca, junca, palmiteiro, palmeteiro branco, palmeteiro encapado, palmeteiro macho, palmeteiro vermelho, palmeteiro-doce, palmito, palmito-doce, palmito-ju?ara, palmito amarelo, palmito vermelho, ripa, ripeira; Paraguay: palmito, yayi (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A


  • Euterpe edulis was for many years the most important species for the extraction of palm heart and was the industry standard. Records show that in 1965 Paraguay exported 3205 metric tons of palm heart (representing the destruction of several million trees); and in 1968-1970 Brazil exported an annual average of 2650 metric tons (Landini & Landini, 1976; Kitze & Johnson, 1975). All the harvest was from wild plants, and populations of E. edulis have shrunk drastically as a result. There is now much research in Brazil on conservation and cultivation of E. edulis (e.g., Anonymous, 1987). Hybrids have been made between this species and E. oleracea (Bovi et a1., 1987). It is perhaps not generally appreciated that populations of E. edulis exist with cespitose stems (e.g., Noblick & Brito 4800), and these should be investigated for cultivation. Other minor uses include stems that are used in construction, leaves for thatching, and fruits made into a drink. (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A


  • Stems solitary, or rarely cespitose and then with few stems, erect, 5-12 m tall, 10-15 cm diam., usually gray with lichens, with a dense cone of reddish brown roots at base, these 1-2 cm diam.
    Leaves 8-15, spreading; sheath 0.8-1.4 m long including a 2-3 cm long ligule, olive green to dark green, sometimes reddish or orange-tinged, glabrous or with reddish brown scales; petiole 13-54 cm long, densely to moderately covered with flat, brown, reddish brown or black scales; rachis 1.5-3 m long, with few to many scales like those of petiole; pinnae 38-62(-70) per side, spreading or pendulous, subopposite, regularly arranged, rarely somewhat clustered, with prominent midvein and submarginal lateral veins present either side, the mid vein with brown ramenta abaxially, with obscure or prominent punctations abaxially; basal pinna 29-50 x 0.5-0.8 cm; middle pinnae 49-80(- 106) x 1.5-4 cm; apical pinna 15-35 x 0.6-1 cm.
    Inflorescences infrafoliar and ± horizontal at anthesis; peduncle 4-8.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm diam.; prophyll to 1 m long; peduncular bract 61-65(-104) cm long including a 1 cm long umbo, with smaller, incomplete bracts to 4 cm long present on peduncle and rachis; rachis 45-69 cm long; rachillae 49-110(-120), 26-58(-75) cm long, to 2 mm diam. at anthesis, 3-4.5 mm diam. in fruit, arranged all round the rachis, zig-zag especially near apex, light brown or reddish brown when dry, densely covered with 0.1 mm long, rounded, granular hairs; flowers in triads for ca. ?, of the rachillae, paired or solitary staminate distally, the triads often distichously arranged; triad bracteole rounded, to 1 mm long; first flower bracteole obscure, second and third flower bracteoles unequal, the longest to 1.5 mm long; slaminate flowers 5-6 mm long, purplish; sepals deltate, 2 mm long, gibbous; petals lanceolate, 5 mm long; stamens arranged on a short receptacle; filaments 1.5- 22.5 mm long, flattened; anthers 2.5-3 mm long; pistillode ca. 1 mm long, trifid at apex; pistillate flowers 3-4.5 mm long; sepals very widely ovate, 3-4 mm long; petals very widely ovate, 5 mm long.
    Fruits globose, 1-1.4 cm diam., the stigmatic remains subapical; epicarp black at maturity, minutely tuberculate; seeds globose; endosperm homogeneous; eophyll palmate. (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A

Materials Examined

  • BRAZIL. BAHIA: Rio Grongogy, 1 Oct -30 Nov 1915. Curran 86 (US); between Born Gosto and Oliven?a, 15 Mar 1943, Fróes 19919 (NY, US); Parque Nacional de Monte Pascoal, on NW side of Monte Pascoal, 100-200 m, 11 Jan 1977, Harley et al. 17818 (NY); Mpio. Alagoinhas, 13 km SW of Ara?as and W of BA 093, Riacho das Mo?as, 12°10'5, 38°26'W, 50-100 m, 23 Nov 1988, Noblick & Soeiro 4687 (NY); Mpio. Cairu, Ilha de Tinharé, ca. 0.5 km NE of Cairu, 13°30'5, 39°03'W, 0-15 01, 9 Dec 1988. Noblick 4719 (NY); Mpio. Belmonte, Estacão Experimental de Gregório Bondar, 7 km E of Barralândia, 15°51'S, 38°54'W, 50-100 m, 17 Jan 1989, Noblick 4741 (NY); Mpio. Teixeira de Freitas, ca. 5 km SE of the city, 17°29'S, 39°42'W, 50-100 m, 31 Jan 1989, Noblick & Brito 4776 (NY); Mpio. Mucuri, Fazenda Oitizeiro, ca. 10 km SW of Mucuri on S side of the Rio Mucuri, 18°05'5, 39°39'W, 1-20 m, 4 Feb 1988, Noblick & Brito 4800 (NY); 4 Feb 1989, Noblick & Brito 4801 (NY); CEPLAC Reserve on rd. to Porto Seguro, 21 Jun 1975, Read & Daniels 3573 (US).
    DISTRITO FEDERAL.: Parque Nacional, Sta. Maria. 8 Jul 1970, Fonsêca 1560 (UB); Parque Nacional de Brasília, 20 Nov 1962, Heringer 9059/1253 (NY); Reserva Florestal Cabe?a do Veado, 14 Jun 1977, Paula & Heringer 740 (MG); nr. Brasília, Scariot 552 (CEN).
    ESPIRITO SANTO: Sta. Teresa, Estacão Biologica de Sta. Lúcia, n.d. Boone 146 (MBML); 5 Apr 1989, Boudet Fernandes et al. 2710 (R); 19 Sep 1988, Boudet Fernandes 2543 (MBML, R); 24 Nov 1988, Boudet Fernandes et al. 2633, 2634, 2635 (MBML); 5 Apr 1989, Boudet Fernandes et al. 2711 (US); 24 May 1989, Boudel Fernandes 2768 (NY); Sta. Teresa, Estacão Biologica da Caixa d'Agua, 23 Apr 1985, Boone 404 (MBML); Linhares, Reserva Florestal do CVRD, estrada da Gávea, km 13, 19 Sep 1987, Bouder Fernandes 2218 (MBML); Linhares, Reserva Florestal do CVRD, estrada da Gávea, km 20, 21 Sep 1987, Boudel Fernandes et al. 2219 (MBML); 3 Nov 1989, Boudet Fernandes et al. 2891 (NY); Sta. Teresa, Alto St. Antônio, 9 Sep 1988, Bouder Fernandes 2520 (MBML); Sta. Teresa, Museu de Biologia Mello Leitão, n.d ., Kollmann 41 (MBML); Sta. Teresa, rd. from Sta. Teresa to Nova Lombardia, 700-750 m, 4 Feb 1985, Peixoto et al. 3410 (NY).
    GOIAS: Between Rio das Pedras and Jairha, 1 Sep 1895, Glaziou 22251 (F).
    MINAS GERAIS: Between Marianna and Antonio Pereira, 12 Nov 1884. Glaziou 15561 (MO). PARANA: Serra do Mar, n.d., Dusén s.n. (GH, MO); Jacerehy, 23 Nov 1915, Dusén 17349 (F, NY, US); Mpio. Cianorte, Fda. Lagoa, 24 Sep 1967, Hatschbach 16977(F); Forest Reserve on Rio Ivaí, ca 30 km E of Cianorte, 260 m, 2 Apr 1966, Lindeman & de Haas 863 (NY).
    SÃO PAULO: São Paulo de Agudos, n.d., Everett s.n. (GH); Mariseas, 28 Feb 1991, Henderson 1619 (NY).
    RIO DE JANEIRO: Mpio. Nova Friburgo, Distr. Macaé de Cima, Rio das Flores, 20 Apr 1989, Boudel Fernandes et al. 2759 (MBML); Rio de Janeiro, 18 Oct 1878, Glaziou 8067 (F); Guanabara, Floresta da Tijuca, Restaurante A Floresta, 29 Dec 1961, Martins 261 (NY).
    SANTA CATARINA : Morro do Baú (or Páu), Ilhota, 200 m, 23 Dec 1970, Reitz 7434 (BH, US).
    PARAGUAY. Alto Paraná, 1909-1910, Fiebrig 5871 (GH, US).
    ARGENTINA. MISIONES: Dep. Iguazú, 17 Feb 1971, Krapovickas et al. 18363 (F, MO); Dep. Iguazú, Parque Nacional del Iguazú, Ruta 101, 12 Jan 1972, Mroginski et al. 359 (F, GH, MO). (Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72)A


    A. Gloria Galeano & A. Henderson: Flora Neotropica, Monograph 72
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae