Mauritiella armata

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Figure 2. M. armata


Common Names:

Ghost Palm,
Moretillo Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

Quite widely distributed in South America, from the lowlands of the Amazon River, up to the cool Guyana Highlands at 1400m.


A very striking palm, featuring multiple spiny trunks to about 15m, with large, deeply segmented palmate leaves which can have up to 120 segments, and a silvery undersurface.


The main requirement is water, and lots of it. It also likes full sun, and warmth in winter. Once they get established, however, they do appear to be very vigorous growers.

Figure 1. M. armata in habitat, Kaieteur Falls, Guyana.
Figure 3. M. armata
Figure 4. Looking up into a very nice M. armata.
Figure 5. M. armata trunks.
Figure 6. M. armata trunk detail.

Contributed by:

Brandt Maxwell (Figure 1)
Geoff (Figure 2&3)
Brod (Figure 4,5&6)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk