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Aiphanes horrida (Jacq.) Burret

Aiphanes is a genus of spiny palms which is native to tropical regions of South and Central America and the Caribbean. There are about 26 species in the genus, ranging in size from understorey shrubs with subterranean stems to subcanopy trees as tall as 20 metres (66 ft). Most have pinnately compound leaves (leaves which are divided into leaflets arranged feather-like, in pairs along a central axis); one species has entire leaves. Stems, leaves and sometimes even the fruit are covered with spines. Plants flower repeatedly over the course of their lifespan and have separate male and female flowers, although these are borne together on the same inflorescence. Although records of pollinators are limited, most species appear to be pollinated by insects. The fruit are eaten by several birds and ... ...Read More



GENUS [A]Aiphanes

SUB-FAMILY [N]Arecoideae

TRIBE [N]Cocoseae

SUB-TRIBE [N]Attaleinae





 Distribution [C][3]


Aiphanes species have a long history of human use. The remains of carbonised seeds thought to belong to A. horrida have been found in archaeological sites in Colombia dating back to about 2800 BP; seeds of this species are still consumed and are traded in local markets. Aiphanes horrida is also widely planted as an ornamental, as is A. minima. The fruit or seeds of A. deltoidea, A. eggersii, A. linearis and A. minima are all consumed locally. The palm heart of A. macroloba is consumed by the Coaiquer people of northwestern South America. Aiphanol, a compound isolated from A. horrida, has shown significant inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenases;[48] inhibition of these enzymes can provide relief from the symptoms of inflammation and pain.


Aiphanes aculeata Willd.
Aiphanes bicuspidata (H.Karst.) Ed.Otto
Aiphanes caryotifolia (Kunth) H.Wendl.
Aiphanes elegans (Linden & H.Wendl.) H.Wendl.
Aiphanes ernestii (Burret) Burret
Aiphanes killipii Burret
Aiphanes orinocensis Burret
Aiphanes praemorsa (Poepp. ex Mart.) Burret
Aiphanes truncata (Brongn. ex Mart.) H.Wendl.
Bactris praemorsa Poepp. ex Mart.
Caryota horrida Jacq.
Euterpe aculeata (Willd.) Spreng.
Marara aculeata (Willd.) H.Karst. ex H.Wendl.
Marara bicuspidata H.Karst.
Marara caryotifolia (Kunth) H.Karst. ex H.Wendl.
Martinezia W.Bull
Martinezia aculeata (Willd.) Klotzsch
Martinezia aiphanes Mart.
Martinezia caryotifolia Kunth
Martinezia elegans Linden & H.Wendl.
Martinezia ernestii Burret
Martinezia killipii Burret
Martinezia truncata Brongn. ex Mart.
Martinezia ulei Dammer
Tilmia caryotifolia (Kunth) O.F.Cook 


Cold Hardiness Zone (USDA) 9b







[3] Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
[3] Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
[3] Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192. 

[A] Palmweb - Palms of the World Online -

[C] WCSP 2013. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards

[N] The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) -

[W] Wikipedia:


The World Checklist of Monocotyledons:

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):

IUCN Red List: