Butia exospadix Noblick
  • Palms (1999+) 50: 169 (2006) 

Notes: Distribution: Brazil (S. Mato Grosso do Sul) to NE. Paraguay

General Description

Stem solitary, acaulescent, subterranean 10–20 cm in diam. Leaves 2–7 in the crown, spirally arranged and spreading; leaf sheath plus petiole ca. 6–11 cm long, adaxially channeled and abaxially rounded, and glabrous; petiole without the leaf sheath 0–3 cm long and 0.3–0.5 cm wide and 0.2 cm thick at the base of the leaf blade; leaf rachis 3–10 cm long with 6–10 pairs of leaflets distributed evenly along the rachis closely crowded together in a congested manner; basal leaflets ca. 32–42 cm long × 0.1–0.2 cm wide, middle leaflets ca. 30–48 cm long × 0.3–0.4 cm wide, apical leaflets ca. 32–45 cm long × 0.1–0.2 cm wide. Inflorescence interfoliar, unbranched, 4.5–12 cm long with peduncle glabrous, 36–67 cm long × 0.15–0.2 cm diam.; peduncular bract 33–46 cm long with no apparent beak and the expanded or inflated part of the bract 5.5–16 cm long × 0.5–1 cm in width and with a 1.2–2.3 cm perimeter and a 0.5–1 mm thickness, tightly enveloping the peduncle; rachilla 1, ca. 4.5–12 cm long; pistillate (triad) flowering portion 1.5–2.5 cm long, number of pistillate flowers 9–17 and the staminate flowering portion measuring 4–6 cm long. Flowers pale yellow to purple tinged, staminate flowers near the base of the inflorescence 3.5–4.0 mm long, sessile; sepals 3, distinct, linear, imbricate but briefly connate at base, acute to mucronate, membranous, glabrous; petals 3 distinct, unequal, obovate, valvate, fleshy, glabrous, with inconspicuous venation, ca. 3.5–4.0 × 2 mm, acute tips; stamens 6, pale yellow, distinct, 2.2–2.8 mm long, with filaments 1–2 mm long; pistillode trifid, not reflexed, less than 0.5 mm long. Pistillate flowers, globose to ovoid, sessile 3.5–4.0 × 2.5–3.5 mm; sepals, glabrous, without visible venation 3–3.5 × 2.5–3.2 mm, coriaceous, imbricate, sepals subequal, acute, keeled to faintly keeled at tip; petals 3, distinct, imbricate at base, valvate at apex, triangular, faintly nerved, especially near the base, glabrous, 2.5–3.5 × 2–3 mm, valvate portion 0.5–1.5 mm long, acute; gynoecium 2–2.7 × 1.5 mm. glabrous, stigma 0.5–0.8 mm long, and staminodes 0.6–0.7 mm long, 3– 6 dentate to smooth and truncate. Fruits purple when mature, 1.2–2.0 × 1.2–1.5 cm, ovoid; cupule (persistent perianth) reddish brown, 0.8–1.0 cm in diam. × ca. 0.3–0.4 cm high; petals longer than sepals, staminodial ring truncate, 1 mm high × 3–4 mm diam.; epicarp, dark purple when mature, smooth and glabrous; mesocarp pale yellowish, fleshy, non-fibrous ca. 1–2 mm thick; endocarp nearly spherical, ca. 1.0–1.6 × 1.0–1.3 cm, 1 mm or less thick, hard, bony, dark brown to nearly black, apex with no distinctive protuberance or beak, interior smooth, monovittate, round in crosssection, outer surface nearly smooth, pores 3 nearly even with surface and subequatorial, sutures visible especially at apex; seed 1, spherical to ellipsoidal, ca. 0.8–1.2 × ca. 1 cm, endosperm white, homogeneous. Germination remote tubular, eophyll simple, narrowly lanceolate.

Diagnostic Description

acaule et subterreano; folium reduplicato-pinnatum foliolis 6–10, congestis, rhachide foliorum 3–10 cm longa; spica super spatham exerta.


Open grasslands and savannas (cerrados); flat terrain with deep sandy soils and with few, and sparsely distributed shrubs and trees, frequently associated with Allagoptera campestris. The plants are restricted to the open short grasses rather than in the adjacent low weedy scrub. Most of palms had flowers or developing immature fruit with only one with mature fruit in February.


Known from the Paraguay–Brazil border in Canindeyú, Paraguay between Ypé Jhu (Paranhos, Brazil) and Capitán Bado (Colonel Sapucala, Brazil) just north of Itanana, and also from Alto Parana, an area now flooded by the Itaipu Reservoir.

Common Names

jataí; poñy.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil West-Central
  • Southern South America Paraguay


  • 1 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.
  • 2 Gauto, M.I. (2009). Conservation status assessment of Paraguayan Palms (Arecaceae): 1-132. Universitéde Genève, Faculté des sciences. Masters in Biology.
  • 3 L. Noblick, The grassy Butia: Two new species and a new combination. 2006

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • B 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; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • C See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm 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.