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Bactris gasipaes

Bactris gasipaes

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Encyclopedia
Bactris gasipaes is a species of palm
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

 native to the tropical forests of South
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

.

There are numerous common names for this plant in several language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

s and many countries
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

. For example, in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

: peach-palm or pewa (Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

), peyibay(e), and pejivalle; in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

: pejibaye (Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

), chontaduro or chantaduro, (Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

), pijuayo (Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

), pijiguao (Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

), tembé (Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

), pixbae (Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

), and in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

: pupunheira, and pupunha (Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

).

There are several botanical synonym
Synonym
Synonyms are different words with almost identical or similar meanings. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. The word comes from Ancient Greek syn and onoma . The words car and automobile are synonyms...

s, including Bactris ciliata (Ruiz & Pav.) Mart., B. insignis (Mart.) Baill., B. speciosa (Mart.) H. Karst., B. utilis (Oerst.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Hemsl., Guilelma chontaduro Triana, G. ciliata (Ruiz & Pav.) H. Wendl., G. gasipaes (Kunth) L. H. Bailey, G. insignis Mart., G. speciosa Mart., G. utilis Oerst., and Martinezia ciliata Ruiz & Pav.

Description



Bactris gasipaes can typically grow to 20 metres (65.6 ft) or taller. It has pinnate leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

  3 metres (9.8 ft) long on a 1 metres (3.3 ft) long petiole
Petiole (botany)
In botany, the petiole is the stalk attaching the leaf blade to the stem. The petiole usually has the same internal structure as the stem. Outgrowths appearing on each side of the petiole are called stipules. Leaves lacking a petiole are called sessile, or clasping when they partly surround the...

. The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is a drupe
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

 with edible pulp surrounding the single seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

, 4–6 cm long and 3–5 cm broad. The rind (epicarp) of the fruit can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe, depending on the variety of the palm.

Uses



Many species of bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s feed on this wild palm, notably macaw
Macaw
Macaws are small to large, often colourful New World parrots. Of the many different Psittacidae genera, six are classified as macaws: Ara, Anodorhynchus, Cyanopsitta, Primolius, Orthopsittaca, and Diopsittaca...

s, parrot
Parrot
Parrots, also known as psittacines , are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three families: the Psittacidae , the Cacatuidae and the Strigopidae...

s and parakeet
Parakeet
Parakeet is a term for any one of a large number of unrelated small to medium sized species of parrot, that generally have long tail feathers...

s, all members of the family Psittacidae.

Food


Bactris gasipaes is well known by local people where it grows and has been used for centuries as food. The fruit is frequently stewed in salted water. However, it may be eaten raw after being peeled and flavored with salt and sometimes honey. It can also be used to make compote
Compote
Compote is a dessert originating from 17th century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are immersed in water and with sugar and spices added to the dish, over gentle heat. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder,...

s and jellies
Fruit preserves
Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits and sugar, often canned or sealed for long-term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves today often involves adding commercial or natural pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used, as well. Prior to World War II, fruit preserve...

 or to make flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 and edible oil.

This plant may also be harvested for heart of palm
Heart of palm
Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, burglar's thigh, chonta, palm cabbage or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, burglar's thigh, chonta, palm cabbage or swamp cabbage, is a...

, and has commercial advantages in being fast growing; the first harvest can be from 18 to 24 months after planting. In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, it is a viable solution for the heart of palm cultivation industry because its agricultural characteristics are adequate for it to be beneficial to substitute it for other native palms such as species of Euterpe
Euterpe (genus)
Euterpe is a genus of palm tree, containing eight species that are native to Central and South America, from Belize southward to Brazil, Peru and Argentina. These palms grow mainly in swamps and floodplains....

including Euterpe oleracea (known as açaí) and Euterpe edulis
Euterpe edulis
Euterpe edulis, commonly known as jucara, Juçara, Açaí-do-sul or Palmiteiro, is palm species in the genus Euterpe. It is now predominantly used for hearts of palm. It is closely related to the açaí palm , a species cultivated for its fruit and superior hearts of palm. The larvae of Caligo...

(known as juçara), that have been extensively exploited and are protected as endangered species. The Brazilian domestic market for heart of palm is about five times bigger than the external one; however, there is an increasing demand for this product internationally as it is increasingly used in international cookery. In addition, the cultivation of Bactris gasipaes is also economically important for Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

.

Composition
The composition of 100 grams of pulp: 164 calorie
Calorie
The calorie is a pre-SI metric unit of energy. It was first defined by Nicolas Clément in 1824 as a unit of heat, entering French and English dictionaries between 1841 and 1867. In most fields its use is archaic, having been replaced by the SI unit of energy, the joule...

s, 2.5 g of protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

, 28 mg of calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, 31 mg of phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

, 3.3 mg of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, 1,500 mmg of vitamin A
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a vitamin that is needed by the retina of the eye in the form of a specific metabolite, the light-absorbing molecule retinal, that is necessary for both low-light and color vision...

, 0.06 mg of vitamin B1 and 34 mg of vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

.

Pests and diseases


Bactris gasipaes is susceptible to certain pests and pathogen
Pathogen
A pathogen gignomai "I give birth to") or infectious agent — colloquially, a germ — is a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium, prion, or fungus that causes disease in its animal or plant host...

s, of which the most commercially significant are:
Pests
  • Atta leafcutter ant
    Leafcutter ant
    Leafcutter ants, a non-generic name, are any of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants belonging to the two genera Atta and Acromyrmex.These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all endemic to South, Central America, Mexico and parts of the southern United States.The Acromyrmex and Atta ants have...

    s
  • Rhynchophorus palmarum (a weevil
    Weevil
    A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than , and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species in several families, mostly in the family Curculionidae...

    )
  • Strategus aloeus (Ox Beetle)
  • Tetranychus mexicanus (a spider mite
    Spider mite
    Spider mites are members of the Acari family Tetranychidae, which includes about 1,200 species. They generally live on the under sides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed...

    )

Diseases
  • Colletotrichum gloesporioides anthracnose
  • Helminthosporium leaf spot disease
  • Phytophthora
    Phytophthora
    Phytophthora is a genus of plant-damaging Oomycetes , whose member species are capable of causing enormous economic losses on crops worldwide, as well as environmental damage in natural ecosystems. The genus was first described by Heinrich Anton de Bary in 1875...

    root rot
    Root rot
    Root rot is a condition found in both indoor and outdoor plants, although more common in indoor plants with poor drainage. As the name states, the roots of the plant rot. Usually, this is a result of overwatering. In houseplants, it is a very common problem, and is slightly less common in outdoor...

  • Mycosphaerella
    Mycosphaerella
    Mycosphaerella is a genus of sac fungi. With more than 10,000 species, it is the largest genus of plant pathogen fungi....

    leaf spot disease
  • Monilia brown rot
    Brown rot
    Brown rot may refer to the following diseases:*Wood-decay fungus, a disease of trees and wood.*Ralstonia solanacearum, a disease of plants caused by bacteria.*Monilinia fructicola, a disease of stone fruits....