Phytelephas


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Phytelephas

 

a genus of dioecious plants of the family Palmae. The plants have a short arborescent stem and pinnate leaves measuring 3–6 m long. The staminate flowers have numerous stamens—in some species more than 1,000—and are gathered into long cylindrical spadices. The pistillate flowers are in dense capitate inflorescences. The ovary is four- to six-valved; one seed develops in each valve. The oval seeds are the size of a hen’s egg; they are used as food. The endosperm of unripe seeds is in the form of a milky juice. Upon ripening, the endosperm becomes solid and is used, under the name of vegetable ivory, to manufacture buttons, chess pieces, and other articles.

There are about 15 species, distributed in tropical South America. The plants are found mainly in the Andes, at elevations of 1,500–1,800 m above sea level. Seeds of the species P. macrocarpa are especially valuable and are exported from Ecuador and other countries.

References in periodicals archive ?
Primero, la biologia de Phytelephas tumacana le brindo a Tumaco el potencial de convertirse en un puerto de cierta importancia.
This could also be true in the palm Phytelephas and its close relative Ammandra, which lack vessels in stems, and have relatively narrow metaxylem elements (Klotz, 1977).
Additionally, many NTFPs such as the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), vegetable ivory (Phytelephas aequatorialis) and palm heart (Euterpe precatoria and Bactris gasipaes), are commercialized at local, national and international markets.
Barfod (1988, 1991) studied leaf anatomy of the genera Ammandra, Palandra, Phytelephas and identified two groups: the first includes Ammandra decasperma and Aphandra natalia, with small guard cells, thick cuticle and sclerenchyma sheath around vacular bundles; the second joins together Palandra (=Phytelephas) aequatorialis and Phytelephas karstenii, P.
For instance, there were 352 individuals of Astrocaryum carnosum and 34 of Phytelephas macrocarpa (=P.
En sus obras sobre la flora de Peru y Chile, Ruiz y Pavon (1794, 1798) describieron algunas palmeras muy interesantes y de dificil acceso como Geonoma trigona (Gentry, 1986a), asi como los generos Iriartea y Phytelephas.