Attalea butyracea

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Figure 1. A. butyracea (Note the 4wd for scale)



The correct scientific name for this species has not been finally determined, and various authors are in disagreement about it. I am listing this species as Attalea butyracea (Mutis ex L. f.) Wess. Boer, but anyone seriously concerned with taxonomic issues should be aware that the name Attalea rostrata Oerst. may be a synonym.

Common Names:

jaci (local name),
American Oil Palm

Conservation Status:

Not threatened.

Distribution & Habitat:

Wet savannah throughout South America.


A very large solitary palm with big 'shuttlecock' leaves in which all the leaflets are arranged in one plane.


Hot, sunny and moist. Probably doesn't mind poor drainage.

Figure 2. A. butyracea
Figure 3. A. butyracea infructescence.
Figure 4. A. butyracea infructescence.
Figure 5. A. butyracea inflorescence
Figure 6. A. butyracea, crown and fronds, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.
Figure 7. A. butyracea, crown and infructescence, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.
Figure 8. A. butyracea, stand in secondary rain forest, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica, viewed from a short distance to sea (Pacific Ocean).
Figure 9. A. butyracea

Contributed by:

Brandt Maxwell (Figure 1)
J. Tucker
(website) (Figure 2,3&9)
Michael Calonje (Figure 4&5)
Dr. Stevens Heckscher (Figure 6,7&8)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk