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Bactris gasipaes

SynonymsG. speciosa Martius, G. utilis Oersted, Guilielma gasipaes (H.B.K.) Bailey
Common names(see also under Notes), chontaduro, palmier-peche, peach palm, pejibaye, pijuayo(Peru), pupunha
Ecocrop code2307

DESCRIPTION: An evergreen tree (palm) reaching 10-20 m in height, shallow rooted, with multiple trunks, about 10-30 cm in diameter, covered with thin spines, pinnate leaves about 3 m long, fruits 2-5 cm in diameter in large clusters, each with thick pulp, and one large seed or seedless. USES: The fruit is eaten boiled in salted water, ground into flour, or fermented and made into a beverage called chicha. Fruits and seeds of the more oily types are used to extract oil. The fruit or residues from processing makes a good feed for poultry and pigs. The kernels are oily but edible. The palm also produce the palm heart. Immature inflorescences may be eaten in a similar way as the fruit. The trunk is utilized as ornamental wood and smaller items. The soft part of the stem may be used to make liquor. A cellulose may be produced for cellophane paper and rayon. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. Begins to flower when 3-4 years old, and its economical life is about 75 years. Fruit bunches mature in about 180 days, and two crops are usually harvested per year. For production of palmhearts it can attain harvests size in 18-30 months and thereafter be harvested every 9-15 months. COMMON NAMES: Peach palm, Pejibaye, Palm chestnut, Paripou, Pejibay, Pejivalle, Palmier-peche, Contaduro, Chontaduro, Chonta, Pejiballe, Pejivalle, Macanilla, Piriguao, Pirijao, Pupunha, Palma piva, Macana, Cachipay, Tembe, Pixbae, Pixbay, Cachipay, Macana, Comer, Tembe. FURTHER INF.: Scientific synonyms: Gasipaes chontadura, G. microcarpa, G. utilis, G. macana, G. ciliata, Guilielma gasipaes, G. speciosa. Peach palm is native of the humid lowlands of Central and northern South America. In Costa Rica, it is grown at altitudes between sea level and 1500 m, but yields are reduced at elevations above 700 m. A second harvest is sometime possible at low altitudes. In Bolivia it is found at elevations between 200-2000 m, in Ecuador between sea level and 1000 m. It occurs on slopes too steep for cultivation. It require a humid climate with not more that 2-3 months of dry season. Young seedlings may require partial shade for fast establishment, but the palms grow best in full sunlight. Fruit yields may be as high as 10-30 t/ha, but are often only about 2-3 t/ha and yields of 50-100 kg per trunk per year are not unusual. For palm hearts the yield ranges from 4000-10000 hearts/ha per year.
Roecklein J 1987 pp 231 [USE]
Duke J 1975 pp 8 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Hackett C 1975 pp 136 [PHO, DEP, PH, TEXT]
Samson J 1991 pp 287
Pedersen H 1990 pp 11
Hoyos F J 1984 pp 13
Purseglove J 1972 pp 424-425 [USE]
Balick J 1986 pp 155-174 [USE]
Nair P 1984 pp 24 [RAIN, TEMP, TEXT, DEP, DRA, PH, SAL, USE]
Nair P 1980 pp 293-294 [RAIN, TEXT]
National AS 1975 pp 73
Janick J 1991 pp 465
Martin F 1984 pp 211-213 [TEMP, RAIN, PHO, FER, PH, USE]
Bermejo J 1994 pp 211-220 [USE, DRA, FER, PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Verheij E 1991 pp 100-103 [USE, TEMP, RAIN, FER, PH, TEXT, DRA, LIG]
Wickens G 1995 pp 88-91 [RAIN, TEMP, USE]