This species is closely related to Astrocaryum vulgare, differing mainly in producing just one trunk whilst Astrocaryum vulgare produces a cluster of trunks[
Astrocaryum aureum Griseb. & H.Wendl.
Astrocaryum candescens Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum jucuma Linden
Astrocaryum macrocarpum Huber
Astrocaryum manaoense Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum princeps Barb.Rodr.
Astrocaryum tucuma Mart.
Common Name: Tucuma
Tucuma is an evergreen, solitary-stemmed palm tree growing up to 25 metres tall, though usually much smaller[
]. The unbranched stems are covered in long black spines; the stems can be 8 - 20 metres long and 12 - 25cm, occasionally to 40cm, in diameter; and they are topped with a rosette of 6 - 15 erect leaves that can each be up to 6 metres long[
This is one of the most popular fruits in the Amazon region, where it is usually gathered from the wild and is often sold in local markets[
]. The tree is also often utilised from the wild by local people as a source of timber, food, oil and fibres[
]. There is some evidence of former cultivation because of its frequent occurrence in the neighbourhood of settlements and villages[
]. It has been truly cultivated in Brazil by the indigenous peoples[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.
]. Dry land forests in the Amazon[
]. Most frequent in deforested areas, usually associated with present and past human settlements[
]. It is rarely found in lowland rain forest[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Plants succeed in moist tropical climates where temperatures never fall below 10Â°c, the average annual rainfall is 1,500mm or more and the driest month has 25mm or more rain[
Requires a sunny, sheltered position[
]. Plants prefer a well-drained soil, though they do not like dry conditions at their roots[
]. Prefers a sandy soil[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The orange, fibreless pulp is slightly sweet[
]. The pulp is fibrous[
]. A flavour similar to apricots[
]. The fruit is 5 - 6cm in diameter and weighs around 70g[
]. A good source of vitamins A, B and C[
The endosperm of the seeds is eaten[
An oil can be obtained from the fruits and the seed[
]. Similar to coconut oil[
Leaves - cooked[
]. The apical bud (known as the 'palm heart') is eaten as a vegetable[
]. Not highly favoured[
]. Eating this bud leads to the death of the tree because it is unable to make sideshoots[
The oil extracted from the seeds is used medicinally[
The leaves are used to disinfect the umbilical cord of newborn babies, and as a remedy for thrush[
An oil can be obtained from the seed and fruits[
]. The oil can be used as a biofuel[
A fine, soft, strong fibre can be obtained from the leaves[
]. It is used for weaving and cordage[
]. The fibres of the young leaves are made into nets, hammocks etc[
]. The fibre is easy to extract because it lies just under the epidermis of the leaf, which is so exceedingly thin that it is easily rubbed off, leaving the fibre white and clean[
Wood - hard, strong and durable[
]. It is used in making houses[
Seed -pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and sow in containers[
]. The seed is enclosed in a hard endocarp which makes germination slow and erratic[
]. Scarifying the seed before soaking can reduce germination time[
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