Oenocarpus distichus

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Figure 1. O. distichus showing the distichus leaf arrangement.


Distribution & Habitat:

It is native to the southern margins of the Amazon basin, stretching from the Atlantic coast all the way through Brazil to northeastern Bolivia, and can be found in lowland rainforest as well as in somewhat drier areas on the margins on savanna.


A striking, tall, solitary palm to 10 m tall on which the leaves are arranged in a single flat plane (i.e. distichous; hence the name). The leaves are plumose, and it has long, drooping, dark glossy green and somewhat drooping leaflets.


In Brazil, the dark purple, oily fruits are used to prepare a drink called vinho-de-bacaba (bacaba wine). An edible oil can also be extracted from the fruit.


Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Tropical/warm sub-tropics. Slow growing.

Figure 2. O. distichus
Figure 3. O. distichus seedling.

Contributed by:

Gileno Machado (Figure 1)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk