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Allagoptera leucocalyx (Drude) Kuntze

Allagoptera is a monoecious genus of flowering plant in the palm family found in South America consisting of four similar-looking species. Compared to other genera within the Cocoeae it is described as particularly specialized. The genus name is a Greek combination of "change" and "feather", describing the full leaf; it was formerly named Diplothemium.

The four salt-tolerant palms in this genus produce very short or acaulescent trunks and in cases where the trunk grows erect it often makes a downward turn leaving the crown below the trunk-base. The trunks in Allagoptera are among the few in the palm family which tend to bifurcate, producing multiple heads per unit. The pinnate leaves are gently arching to 2 m and are carried on long, slender petioles which are adaxially channeled. ... ...Read More

Plant 1-2.5 m tall; stem to 10 cm long, subterranean. Leaves 6-30; sheath and petiole smooth and glabrous; sheath base 10-70 cm long, tubular, orange, fibrous; petiole 25-70 cm long. 1-1.5 mm diam., glabrous or with scarce ramenta; rachis 65-95 cm long, with a continuous white waxy layer or with sparsely brown glands; pinnae 30-72 per side, elongatelanceolate, with acute tips, regularly inserted in groups of 2-3(-4), 3-6 cm apart, spreading in different angles, in each group the apical pinnae inserted toward the apex, the basal pinnae inserted downward along the petiole, thickened at base with or without ramenta, acute apex asymmetrically split for 0.5-2.5 cm, with evident midrib adaxially, depressed abaxially, with transverse veinlets evident adaxially, light green glaucous and waxy adaxially, green to brown glaucous abaxially, with two longitudinal lines with ramenta abaxially; basal pinnae 30-45 x 0.4-0.6 cm; middle pinnae 30-50 x 0.9-2 cm; apical pinnae 8-12 x 0.2-0.5 cm. Inflorescences 58-105 cm long; peduncle 50-90 cm long, ca. 0.5 cm diam., slender, fimbriate, glabrous to scarcely covered with ramenta with papillose margins; rachilla 8-15 cm long, bearing membranous bracteoles; prophyll 30-40 cm, tubular, membranous to woody; peduncular bract 75-105 cm long, ca. 2.2 cm diam., apiculate 2.5-3.5 cm, not inflated above, woody, sulcate, green with sparse ramenta externally, muricate and brown internally; peduncular bracts 1(2), brown, scarious, apiculate, at 2 cm from apex of peduncle. Staminate flowers ca. 3 mm long, pedicel <1 mm long, inserted parallel; sepals connate basally, smooth, coriaceous. With papillose hairs on margins; petals valvate, free, muricate, coriaceous, ca. 5 x 2 mm; stamens 9-10 distally, 14-15 proximally, ca. 5 mm long, the filaments not columnar, the anthers ca. 1 mm long, slightly sagittate at both ends; pistillode simple to trifid. Pistillate flowers inserted on proximal 2-6.5 cm of rachilla, fibrous; sepals free, triangular, ca. 5 x 3 mm, imbricate to the right, glabrous with papillose hairs on margins; petals free, triangular, ca. 7 x 3 mm, contorted to the left, glabrous or with papillose hairs on margins; staminodial ring discontinuous and irregular with 5 short teeth; pistil conical , ca. 4 x 2 mm; stigma capitate or trifid to 2 mm long, glabrous. Fruit ovoid to ellipsoid , densely covered by floccose yellow-orange hairs to apex, 2-2.5 cm long, ca. 1.5 cm diam., perpendicular to rachilla, the stigmatic remnants with stigmas trifid and erect to 3 mm, the persistent perianth to ½, or near apex of fruit; seed 1. [3]

VERNACULAR NAME[3]Brazil: côco da chapada, guriri , cacho pequeno, côco de vassoura, jataí rasteiro; Bolivia: motacú-chí, chonta de la pampa, motacú enano, totaicillo; Paraguay: yatay poni , gra-cha-ré (Apinajé).

GENUS [A]Allagoptera

SUB-FAMILY [N]Arecoideae

TRIBE [N]Cocoseae

SUB-TRIBE [N]Attaleinae





 Distribution [C][3]



Allagoptera anisitsii (Barb.Rodr.) H.E.Moore
Allagoptera campestris var. orbignyi (Drude) Kuntze
Allagoptera hassleriana (Barb.Rodr.) H.E.Moore
Diplothemium anisitsii Barb.Rodr.
Diplothemium campestre var. orbignyi Drude
Diplothemium hasslerianum Barb.Rodr.
Diplothemium jangadense S.Moore
Diplothemium leucocalyx Drude 


Cold Hardiness Zone (USDA) 9b







[3] Lorenzi, H., Noblick, L.R., Kahn, F. & Ferreira, E. (2010). Brazilian Flora Arecaceae (Palms): 1-268. Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora LTDA, São Paulo, Brazil.
[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] Gauto, M.I. (2009). Conservation status assessment of Paraguayan Palms (Arecaceae): 1-132. Universitéde Genève, Faculté des sciences. Masters in Biology.
[3] Mónica Moraes, Flora Neotropica, monograph 73, Allagoptera 

[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: