Barcella (Trail) Drude
  • C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 459 (1881) 

Notes: Distribution: N. Brazil

General Description

Moderate, solitary, acaulescent, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem very short, subterranean. Leaves arching or erect, pinnate, biology has been studied by Listabarth (1994). marcescent; sheath abaxially with caducous tomentum; petiole short, Additional figures: Glossary figs 6, 14. adaxially flattened, abaxially ± angled, the margins sharp, both surfaces glabrous; rachis adaxially angled, abaxially flattened; leaflets numerous, regularly arranged, single-fold, very gradually narrowed from near the base to a long acuminate tip, ± plicate, adaxially glabrous, abaxially bearing a few small ramenta along the main vein near the base, transverse veinlets conspicuous, very short. Inflorescences interfoliar, solitary, branching to 1 order, apparently protandrous; peduncle elongate, curving, ± circular or semicircular in cross-section, densely tomentose; prophyll short, thinly coriaceous, 2-keeled, acute, becoming fibrous distally; peduncular bract much longer than the prophyll, ± woody, enclosing the inflorescence in bud, splitting longitudinally allowing elongation of the peduncle and rachis, beaked, striate abaxially, covered with minute scales; rachis much shorter than the peduncle, bearing up to ca. 40, crowded, rigid, spirally arranged, densely tomentose rachillae, each subtended by a triangular, acuminate bract; proximal few rachillae expanded at the base and bearing up to ca. 9 pistillate flowers, solitary or in triads, with staminate flowers distal and all other rachillae bearing dense spirals of paired staminate flowers, except at the very tips where staminate flowers solitary, the pistillate flowers ± superficial, each subtended by a triangular bract, the staminate flowers, especially distally, sunken in pits, the small triangular rachilla bracts forming the lower lips of the pits, extreme tips of rachillae bare of bracts and flowers, ± sharply pointed. Staminate flowers small; sepals 3, distinct, widely separated, membranous, narrow elliptic, abaxially keeled, hooded at the tips; petals 3, distinct, about the same length as the sepals, valvate, ovate, striate; stamens 6, filaments broad, fleshy, united laterally to each other to form a tube with 6, short, distinct, reflexed, abruptly narrowed tips, anthers ± rectangular, ± versatile, latrorse; pistillode much shorter than the connate filaments, columnar, trifid. Pollen asymmetric-ellipsoid to pyriform; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate and micro-channelled and coarsely rugulate, aperture margin finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 25–45 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers much larger than the staminate; sepals 3, distinct, ovate, broadly imbricate, coriaceous, the margins tending to split irregularly; petals 3, distinct, ovate, broadly imbricate except at the short valvate, triangular tips, ± coriaceous except at the membranous, striate, irregular margins; staminodes forming a membranous, 6-toothed ring; gynoecium ± columnar, trilocular, triovulate, with 3, massive, fleshy, 3-angled stigmas, ovule apparently orthotropous, attached centrally. Fruit moderately large, 1-seeded, ovoid or basally angled by close packing, bright orange, usually with a prominent apical beak bearing the stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, glabrous, mesocarp thick, fleshy, oily, endocarp black, woody, ± 3-angled, traversed by longitudinal fibres, with 3 lateral pores (according to Trail [1877]). Seed (?)basally attached, with a coarse network of fibres, endosperm homogeneous with a central cavity; embryo lateral near one of the endocarp pores. Germination not recorded; eophyll apparently entire, lanceolate. Cytology not studied.

Diagnostic Description

Acaulescent unarmed pinnate-leaved palm from Amazonia, with flowers borne in pits.


Not studied.


Occurring on river banks at low altitude.


A single species confined to a small area of the banks of the Rio Negro and its tributaries in Brazil.


Many uses such as wood for construction and leaves forweaving, but the greatest potential of this palm lies withpossible hybridization with the African or American species ofElaeis to introduce novel characteristics.

Common Names

Common names not recorded.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North


  • 1 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 3 Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. Continental Publishing, Deurne.

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • D See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.