An Eco-sustainable World
ArborealSpecies Plant

Mauritiella armata

Mauritiella armata

The multi-stemmed buriti palm (Mauritiella armata (Mart.) Burret, 1935) is an arboreal species belonging to the Arecaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Division Magnoliophyta,
Class Liliopsida,
Subclass Arecidae,
Order Arecales,
Arecaceae family,
Subfamily Calamoideae,
Tribe Lepidocaryeae,
Subtribe Mauritiinae,
Genus Mauritiella,
Species M. armata.
The term is basionym:
– Mauritia armed Mart..
The terms are synonymous:
– Lepidococcus armatus (Mart.) H.Wendl. & Drude;
– Lepidococcus duckei (Burret) A.D.Hawkes;
– Lepidococcus huebneri (Burret) A.D.Hawkes;
– Lepidococcus intermedius (Burret) A.D.Hawkes;
– Lepidococcus martianus (Spruce) A.D.Hawkes;
– Lepidococcus peruvianus (Becc.) A.D.Hawkes;
– Mauritia aculeata Mart.;
– Mauritia campylostachys (Burret) Balick;
– Mauritia duckei (Burret) Balick;
– Mauritia huebneri Burret;
– Mauritia intermedia Burret;
– Mauritia macrospadix (Burret) Balick;
– Mauritia martiana Spruce;
– Mauritia nannostachys (Burret) Balick;
– Mauritia peruviana Becc.;
– Mauritiella campylostachys Burret;
– Mauritiella duckei Burret;
– Mauritiella huebneri (Burret) Burret;
– Mauritiella intermedia (Burret) Burret;
– Mauritiella macrospadix Burret;
– Mauritiella martiana (Spruce) Bureau;
– Mauritiella martiana (Spruce) Burret;
– Mauritiella nannostachys Burret;
– Mauritiella peruviana (Becc.) Burret;
– Oenocarpus dealbatus H.Wendl..

Etymology –
The term Mauritiella is the diminutive of Mauritia, due to the similarity, in a reduced version, with this genus.
The specific epithet armata comes from the Latin “armatus, a, um”, that is, armed, in reference to the thorns on the stem.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Mauritiella armata is a plant native to the Amazon region and surrounding areas, present in a vast territory which includes: Bolivia, Brazil (Acre, Alagoas, Amazonas, Amapá, Bahia, Ceará, Federal District of Brasilia, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Fernando de Noronha, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rondônia, Roraima, São Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins and Trindade), Colombia, Ecuador , Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
Its habitat is that of open areas of rainforests, frequently along watercourses, or in savannahs on permanently humid soils, generally at low altitudes up to 1,400 meters above sea level. In Ecuador it is found here and there along black streams and lakes.

Description –
The Mauritiella armata is a caespitose dioecious palm, rarely solitary, which has whitish slender erect stems, 5-20 m in height and 8-14 cm in diameter, on which the trace rings of fallen leaves about 10 cm apart are evident , armed at least in the lower part with conical spiny adventitious roots, 1-3 cm long, which root near the base, forming a mass of roots.
It has slightly costapalmate, reduplicated, almost circular leaves, 1-1.4 m wide, of a shiny dark green color above, covered with a bluish-white bloom below, deeply divided almost to the base into 30-80 linear-lanceolate segments , 0.6-1.2 m long in the median part and 1.5-3.5 cm wide, with a pointed, hanging apex; the petioles are 60-80 cm long, unarmed, oval in section, covered with a whitish bloom.
The male and female inflorescences are produced on different individuals, they are similar, they form in the interfoliar spaces, with second-order ramifications, up to about 1 m long, initially erect, then pendulous.
The fruits are globose to ovoid in shape, 2.5-3.5 cm in length and 2-3 cm in diameter, with an epicarp covered by vertically aligned reddish brown rhomboidal scales.
Inside there is a single white ellipsoidal seed.
All parts of the young plant are covered with a dense waxy, white or pale blue bloom.

Cultivation –
Mauritiella armata is a palm typical of the Amazon area where it needs high quantities of water and sun exposure and warm winter climates to grow.
In fact, this plant grows best in seasonally flooded areas. That is, perhaps half the year when the roots are dry and the other part flooded but with soils that are not excessively stagnant all year round.
In cultivation the optimal condition is that of dry and abundantly irrigated soil.
This palm has great potential as an ornamental and landscape plant, cultivable in tropical and subtropical climate zones, where temperatures below +10 °C are very short-lived exceptions, characterized by high environmental humidity, can also be used in small gardens due to its small size , taking care to choose a position away from places of passage due to the thorns on the stem.
It is a fast-growing palm that requires full sun or at most light shade and is not particularly demanding regarding the soil, even poorly draining, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, kept constantly humid.
Young plants can be grown in pots to decorate open spaces, where the climate permits, or greenhouses, verandas and winter gardens, in as bright a position as possible, with high ambient humidity and daytime temperatures. ideal 24-28 °C, and night minimums not lower than +16 °C.
Reproduction occurs by seed, previously kept in water for two days, in soil kept humid at a temperature of 26-28 °C, with germination times varying from a few months to a year.

Customs and Traditions –
Mauritiella armata is a palm known by various common names; among these are: multistemmed buriti palm (English); buriticillo (Bolivia); caraná, caranã, caraná-de-espinhos, buritirana, buriti-bravo buriti-mirim, buritizeiro-bravo, buritizinho, inajá, xiriri (Brazil); cananguchillo (Colombia); moretillo (Ecuador); aguajillo, cahuaia (Peru); morichito, uliya (Venezuela).
The plant is similar to the fantastic Mauritia flexuosa. Its beautiful fan-shaped leaves bear up to 120 segments that are bluish waxy underneath. It is a palm typical of the large Amazon region where it is widespread and is common in a variety of habitats, from the humid tropical plains to the cold highlands of Guyana at 1400 m above sea level. Among its closest relatives, Mauritia, Mauritiella and Lepidocaryum, it is the only one truly tolerant of colder subtropical winters, although it does not tolerate frost.
A drink is made from the fruit pulp of this palm with the addition of sugar or cassava flour.
The leaf segments are used locally to make baskets and other handicrafts.
In markets the fruits are often sold in bowls filled with water so that the pulp is soft and more palatable.

Preparation Method –
The Mauritiella armata is a palm whose uses as food or for the use of some of its materials are known.
From the fruit pulp a drink is obtained to which sugar or cassava flour is added.
Furthermore, the leaves are used locally to make baskets and other handicraft objects.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Photo source:

Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; we therefore decline any responsibility for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *