Ceroxylon alpinum ecuadorense Galeano
A wax palm, found wild at moderate elevations in the mountains of Ecuador, but this one was growing in the Botanical Gardens of Quito.
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Ceroxylon echinulatum is a single-stemmed, evergreen palm growing 12 - 20 metres tall. The unbranched stem can be 25 - 30cm in diameter; it is covered with a thin layer of wax; and is topped by a crown of 8 - 17 large leaves[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of timber.
A palm endemic to Ecuador and Peru, where it is known from two isolated subpopulations on the eastern Andean slopes, at elevations from 1,500 - 2,000 metres. The main threats are deforestation and the destructive harvest of its leaves for artistic use in Easter celebrations. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
S. America - Peru, Ecuador.
Montane rain forest at elevations from 1,800 - 1,920 metres[
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A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The basal portion of the peduncle (flowering stem) is boiled and eaten in salads[
The young leaves are cut at Easter and used as decorations on Palm Sunday[
The stems are used as fence posts and in house construction[
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