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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/24/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/24/2012)
Genus ACROCOMIA Mart.
Common Gru-gru
PlaceOfPublication Hist. Nat. Palm. 2:66, tt. -56, 57. 1824.
Description Tall single-trunked monoecious pinnate-leaved trees, very spiny (one excep- tion) on- bole and petioles and cymbas and sometimes on fruits; spines long and slender, commonly flattened, expanded or cushioned at base, usually black or at least very dark, not stiffly attached: leaves very long, becoming horizontal'and drooping, with very many pairs of narrow hanging long-pointed pinnae, commonly glabrous on the upper surface but often indefinitely pubescent on upper surface; petioles prickly on outer convex surface: spadices infrafoliar, consisting of a long central axis and short mostly simple ~side-branches or rachillae; cymbas 2, outer or primary one soon caducous, inner one persistent and often hanging as a dead body- long after the fruit has fallen: staminate flowers 5-7 mm. long, occupying -most of the length of the rachillae' and partially sunken in it, stamens 6; -pistillate flowers at the angles on the base of the rachilla, about 10 mm. long, partly im- mersed, ovary 3-celled: fruit a drupe-like body size of a walnut, 1-seeded by abortion, olive-green or yellowish, 3-4 cm. transverse diameter, mesocarp muci- -laginous with fibers running through it (sometimes edible) and that dries to a cork-like interior that stoutly adheres to the nut; rind becoming thin and then brittle as an egg-shell; nutlet conical to almost globular, with 3 eyes or micropyles, albumen hard and continuous.
Distribution About 25 species of conspicuous ornamental trees, often planted, native from Cuba and Mexico to Argentina and Paraguay.
Note Acrocomia divides itself into two sections on the nature of the trunk, and although the differences are striking they are seldom brought out in photographs and have not been- recognized until recently. In Section Tectocomia, to which the single Panama species belongs, the bole is covered with broad petiole-bases on whi'ch most of the spines are attached; these bases or boots remain for several or many years, finally rotting away and leaving a naked bole with deep notch-like ring, or steps, most of the spines disappearing with them. In Section Sentocomia the trunk is soon divested of the caducous petioles; the bole then is marked by shallow rings intervening between circling rows of spines.
 
 
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