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Butia: What we think we know about the genus

Authors:
  • Montgomery Botanical Center

Abstract and Figures

B utia are plants that are small to moderate in size, solitary or clustering (caespitose), acaulescent with a subterranean stem, short and thick or erect with moderately tall stems to 8–12 m, frequently covered with persistent leaf bases when younger, these eventually abscising. The sheathing leaf base does not form any visible crownshaft, but is split to its base. There are 3–50 pinnate leaves in the crown, with a sheath and petiole that are sometimes indistinct, with a combined length of 3–195 cm (2 " to 77 "), with the margins of the apparent petiole (the true petiole plus a portion of the sheath also known as the pseudopetiole) smooth, unarmed, with merely flexible fibers and membranaceous or armed with stiff, woody spiny fibers, some teeth-like; the true petiole is often short or absent, channeled or flattened above (adaxially) and convex below (abaxially); rachis 3–250 cm (2' to 98.5 ") long; pinnae, single folded, linear, with asymmetric, obtuse, acute or acuminate tips, 6–92 in number and held stiffly along each side of the rachis, generally distributed regularly in one plane, and the two sides forming a V with each other, frequently with clustered ramenta on the lower vein near the rachis, the middle portion of the leaf with pinnae 20–80 cm (8 " to 31.5 ") long by 0.1–2.5 cm wide. The pinna anatomy is distinctive with the upper surface (adaxial side) more or less reflected in the lower surface (abaxial), which Tomlinson refers to as " mirrored " anatomy (personal comm.)(Fig. 1). Inflorescences interfoliar, branches to one order (rarely to two orders in B. capitata in Bahia and Goiás), subtended by two bracts, a prophyll and peduncular bract, the prophyll, often not measured in its entirety, is ca. 5–80 cm (2 " to 80 ") long and the peduncular bract is generally smooth or superficially striate, glaucous or densely tomentose (i.e. B. eriospathaand B. microspadix) on the external part, usually woody, but Article and photos by Larry R. Noblick Figure 1-Butia Anatomy showing the typical, nearly " mirrored " anatomy of all Butia species. sometimes thin and papery (i.e. B. leptospatha), the expanded or inflated portion is 4–150 cm (1.6 " to 59 ") long by 2.5–16.0 cm (1 " to 6.3 ") wide; inflorescence axis (branched portion of the inflorescence) is 10–130 cm (4 " to 51 ") long; rachillae, 1– 155 in number, 2.8–60 cm (1 " to 23.6 ") long; flowers are unisexual deposited on the lower (proximal) part of the rachillae in groups of three (triads), with a central female flanked on each side by males, on the upper (distal) portion there are only male flowers arranged in dyads or singly; male (staminate) flowers always have 6 stamens with medifixed, usually reflexed filaments, with a trifidpistillode (aborted pistil or ovary) that is shorter than the filaments, with three very short sepals often joined at the base and three distinct valvate petals; female (pistillate) flowers are usually larger than the male, globose or ovoid, 3.0–19.0 x 3.0–10.0 mm have three broadly imbricate sepals and three usually imbricate petals, the tips of which are only briefly valvate at the tips and therefore not as distinctly valvate as they are in Syagrus, with a distinct ovary with three stigmas and surrounded by a well-developed slightly lobed staminodal ring (aborted stamens). Fruits come in a variety of shapes and colors (even within the same species) globose, depressed-globose, ovoid or oblong, yellow,
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Butia are plants that are small to moderate in size,
solitary or clustering (caespitose), acaulescent with a subter-
ranean stem, short and thick or erect with moderately tall
stems to 8–12 m, frequently covered with persistent leaf bases
when younger, these eventually abscising. The sheathing leaf
base does not form any visible crownshaft, but is split to its
base. There are 3–50 pinnate leaves in the crown, with a
sheath and petiole that are sometimes indistinct, with a
combined length of 3–195 cm (2” to 77”), with the margins of
the apparent petiole (the true petiole plus a portion of the
sheath also known as the pseudopetiole) smooth, unarmed,
with merely flexible fibers and membranaceous or armed with
stiff, woody spiny fibers, some teeth-like; the true petiole is
often short or absent, channeled or flattened above (adaxially)
and convex below (abaxially); rachis 3–250 cm (2’ to 98.5”)
long; pinnae, single folded, linear, with asymmetric, obtuse,
acute or acuminate tips, 6–92 in number and held stiffly along
each side of the rachis, generally distributed regularly in one
plane, and the two sides forming a V with each other,
frequently with clustered ramenta on the lower vein near the
rachis, the middle portion of the leaf with pinnae 20–80 cm
(8” to 31.5”) long by 0.1–2.5 cm wide. The pinna anatomy is
distinctive with the upper surface
(adaxial side) more or less reflected in
the lower surface (abaxial), which
Tomlinson refers to as “mirrored”
anatomy (personal comm.)(Fig. 1).
Inflorescences interfoliar, branches to
one order (rarely to two orders in B.
capitata in Bahia and Goiás), subtended
by two bracts, a prophyll and peduncular
bract, the prophyll, often not measured
in its entirety, is ca. 5–80 cm (2” to 80”)
long and the peduncular bract is
generally smooth or superficially striate,
glaucous or densely tomentose (i.e. B.
eriospathaand B. microspadix) on the
external part, usually woody, but
Article and photos by Larry R. Noblick
Palm Biologist, Montgomery Botanical Center
11901 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33156, USA
lnob@montgomerybotanical.org
Figure 1 - Butia Anatomy showing the typical,
nearly “mirrored” anatomy of all Butia species.
sometimes thin and papery (i.e. B. leptospatha), the expanded
or inflated portion is 4–150 cm (1.6” to 59”) long by 2.5–16.0
cm (1” to 6.3”) wide; inflorescence axis (branched portion of
the inflorescence) is 10–130 cm (4” to 51”) long; rachillae, 1–
155 in number, 2.8–60 cm (1” to 23.6”) long; flowers are
unisexual deposited on the lower (proximal) part of the
rachillae in groups of three (triads), with a central female
flanked on each side by males, on the upper (distal) portion
there are only male flowers arranged in dyads or singly; male
(staminate) flowers always have 6 stamens with medifixed,
usually reflexed filaments, with a trifidpistillode (aborted pistil
or ovary) that is shorter than the filaments, with three very
short sepals often joined at the base and three distinct valvate
petals; female (pistillate) flowers are usually larger than the
male, globose or ovoid, 3.0–19.0 x 3.0–10.0 mm have three
broadly imbricate sepals and three usually imbricate petals, the
tips of which are only briefly valvate at the tips and therefore
not as distinctly valvate as they are in Syagrus, with a distinct
ovary with three stigmas and surrounded by a well-developed
slightly lobed staminodal ring (aborted stamens). Fruits come
in a variety of shapes and colors (even within the same
species) globose, depressed-globose, ovoid or oblong, yellow,
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 5
Butia
What We Think We Know
About the Genus
orange, reddish-orange, red or purple, 1.2–4.2 cm (.5” to 1.7”)
long, mesocarp fleshy with little or no fiber and often sweet,
with endocarp containing 1–3 locules (1–3 seed) and
displaying 3 pores near the median portion or just slightly
below (while the pores in Syagrus are basal). Endosperm is
homogeneous and the eophyll is narrowly lanceolate. For a
more in depth description of the genus please consult
Dransfieldet al. (2008).
This paper is not meant to be a complete taxonomic
review, because I still feel inadequate in my knowledge of this
genus, even though I have been working with Butia for many
years. There are new species yet to be described. It seems that
the more field work to do, the more insecure I feel.
Scientists other than myself who have worked and
published on Butia include: OdoardoBeccari, Henry Nehrling,
Karl Ewald Maximilian Max Burret, Liberty Hyde Bailey,
Wilhelm (Guillermo) Gustov(o) Franz (Francis) Herter, Sidney
F. Glassman, Joao Rodrigues de Mattos, Xifred & Andrea Mariel
Sanso, Harri Lorenzi, Leonardo Paz Deble, José Newton
Cardoso Marchiori, Kelen Pureza Soares and Solon Jonas
Longhi, which are most but probably not all.
Historical Review
1916:The name Butia was originally used by Odoardo Beccari
(1887) as a subgenus of Cocos, but later he elevated Butia to
full generic status (Beccari1916). In that 1916 publication,
Beccari transferred many species of Cocos to Butia, recognizing
7 species: several well-recognized Butia like B. capitata, B.
eriospatha, and B. yatayalong with a few still unplaced species
(B. tolonifera, B. leiospatha). He also proposeda couple of new
species (B. bonnetii, B. pungens), several varieties of Butia
capitata (elegantissima, erythospatha, lilaeiflora, odorata, pulposa,
subglobosa, virescens) and one variety of Butia yatay
(paraguayensis).Beccari separated Butia from Syagrus by the
smooth rather than sulcatespathes and spiny or toothed
petiole margins instead fibrous or smooth petiole margins.
1929: Henry Nehrling (1929) transferred Cocos argentea Engel
and Cocos nehlingiana Abbott ex Nehrl. To Butia and raised
Beccari’s variety B. capitata var. pulposa to the species B.
pulposa.
1930: Max Burret (1930) transferred Hauman’s Cocosponi to
B. poni and described Butia microspadix.
1936: Liberty Hyde Bailey (1936) reduced Butia nehlingiana to
a variety of B.capitata, described the new variety, B.capitata var.
strictior and transferred Cocos paraguayensis to B. paraguayensis.
1940: Herter (1940) tried to make Butiayatay a subspecies of
B. capitata and then created B. capitata subsp. eucapitata.
1970: Perhaps the most disturbing thing that happened to
Butia is when Glassman (1970) transferred the five species of
Butia that he recognized at that time (B. arenicola, B. capitata, B.
eriospatha, B. paraguayensis, B. yatay) to Syagrus due to the
problem of distinguishing smooth or striate spathes from
deeply grooved (sulcate) spathes.
1979: However, after completing a systematic survey and
study of the leaflet anatomy in Syagrus he changed his mind
when he discovered that all of the “Butia” showed a distinctive
arrangement of tissues, an almost mirrored anatomy (Fig. 1)
and that some smaller taxa (B. archeri, B. microspadix) with
non-spiny, smooth or fibrous petioles had identical anatomy to
those with the spiny petioles. Glassman (1979) then correctly
amended the description of the genus to include some of
these newer Butia with the fibrous or smooth margins,
including his newly described B. purpurascens Glassman.
Glassman (1970) had previously not recognized all of the
varieties of Butia capitata proposed by Beccari and Bailey,
because they were either based on cultivated specimens or
merely based on illustrations and he sank them under one
species emphasizing that B. capitata was a very variable
species.He also placed several species into a doubtful or
uncertain category including B. bonnetii, B. leiospatha, B. poni and
B. pungens. This brought down the total number of recognized
species to eight.
1977: In the meantime, Joao R. de Mattos (1977a, 1977b)
created and recognized a new variety called B. capitata var.
rubrafrom Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and later (Mattos 2008)
created an invalid name in his failed attempt to reduce
Glassman’s Butia purpurascens to a variety of Butia capitata.
1996: Xifreda and Sanso (1996) tried to place Butia
paraguayensis as a subspecies of B. yatay (instead of a variety B.
paraguayensis as Beccari had done in 1916).
2004: After I discovered that there were more acaulescent
Syagrus that belonged to Butia, I transferred both S. campicola
(Noblick, 2004) and S. leptospatha (Noblick, 2006) to Butia. I
also described B. marmoriiand B. exospadixin the same paper
(Noblick, 2006).
2006: Deble and Marchiori (2006), Brazilians from Rio
Grande do Sul, described Butia lallemantii.
2010: I described Butia catarinensis, B. lepidotispatha, B.
matogrossensis and B. pubispatha (Noblick, 2010). Probably the
most upsetting thing that I did was to recognize the true
identity of Butia capitata, as the small to medium-sized
endemic palm to the cerrados of the Brazilian states of Bahia,
Minas Gerais and Goiás and to identify Butia odorata as the
correct name for the species most commonly used in
cultivation and the one that dominates the southern part of
Brazil and Uruguay. I successfully transferred Cocos odorata
Barb.Rodr. (Noblick, 2011) to Butia odorata after one failed
attempt to do so in 2010.
2011: Deble and Marchiori described Butia exilata and B.
missionera (Deble et al. 2011) from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
2011: Kelen Soares and S.J. Longhi (2011) described Butia
6 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
witechiifrom Rio Grande do Sul.
2012: Deble and Marchiori described B. quaraimana (Deble et
al. 2012a) from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and B. noblickii
(Deble et al. 2012b) from Argentina.
2013: Kelen Soares(2013) finished his thesis of Butia for the
state of Rio Grande do Sul, but for various reasons
questioned and then decided not to recognize B.
quaraimananor B. missionera.
Current species
Butia today is a well-recognized genus. Work by
Meerowet al. (2009) using seven nuclear genes has confirmed
Butia to be a well-defined genus. Martel (2013), while working
on the origin of fragrances in palm flowers at Montgomery
Botanical Center (MBC), discovered another unifying
character for the genus: crystal-like raphide bundles on the
margins of all of the Butia male flower petals that were
examined.This is a character missing in all other palm genera
with few exceptions (e.g. Jubaeopsis caffra). Finally, we already
mentioned the “mirrored” leaflet anatomy that all Butia
species have in common.
In 2010, I recognized 18 species in South America
(Noblick, 2010). With the recent descriptions of new species
by Deble, Marchiori, Soares and Longhi etc. That number has
grown to 24 Butia species (some questionable). Here is the
current list:
Butia with above ground stems
when mature (11)
Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc.
Butia eriospatha Becc.
Butia odorata (Barb.Rodr.) Noblick
Butia missionera Deble & Marchiori ?
Butia noblickiiDeble, Marchiori, G.D.Alves & A.S.
Oliveira ?
Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick
Butia paraguayensis (Barb. Rodr.) L.H. Bailey
Butia purpurascens Glassman
Butia quaraimana Deble & Marchiori ?
Butia witeckii K. Soares & S. Longhi
Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc.
Butia with acaulescent or very short
stems (less than ca. 1.5 m) when
mature (13)
Butia archeri (Glassman) Glassman
Butia arenicola (Barb.Rodr.) Burret
Butia campicola (Barb.Rodr.) Noblick
Butia catarinensis Noblick & Lorenzi
Butia exilata Deble & Marchiori
Butia exospadix Noblick
Butia lallemantii Deble & Marchiori
Butia lepidotispatha Noblick & Lorenzi
Butia leptospatha (Burret) Noblick
Butia marmorii Noblick
Butia matogrossensis Noblick & Lorenzi
Butia microspadix Burret
Butia pubispatha Noblick & Lorenzi
Butia at Montgomery Botanical
Center
Montgomery Botanical Center is home to 184 Butia
plants, which belong to 69 accessions (i.e. seed collected from
at least 69 mother plants). Among those 69 accessions are 6
identified species (Butia capitata, B. eriospatha, B. noblickii, B.
odorata, B. paraguayensis, B.yatay). Several are still classified as
Butia sp., but most of these are probably only forms of Butia
paraguayensis,on which I am still doing research. These come
from regions along or close to the Parana River, which defines
part of the border between Paraguay and Argentina. It is in
this region that I suspect some hybridization is going on
between Butiap araguaryensis and Butia yatay. Until this year we
also had Butia marmorii, but we lost the last one only a few
months ago.
Butia capitata Fig. 2, 3
In the late 80’s as I worked on the palm flora of
Bahia, Brazil for my PhD research, I collected Butia in the
western part of the state. These palms had short trunks with
fairly large ellipsoid, yellow fruits,and fusiform (football-
shaped) endocarps (nuts). The fruit was not particularly good
tasting (in my opinion). Even at that time I began to suspect
that it was not the same Butia that was being called Butia
capitata
elsewhere, in
fact I wrote
“The distri-
bution of this
palm is rather
suspicious”
(Noblick, 1991).
I found it
difficult to
understand how
this cerrado
palm could
disappear and
then suddenly
reappear in
abundance in
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 7
Figure 2 - Butia
capitata in habitat
in Goiás, Brazil with
Hazel Cropper.
Fig. 2
the coastal vegetation (restinga) of Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay. In
1996, I collected with a graduate student, who was interested in doing a
study of Butia. Together we collected in central and southern Brazil and
Paraguay. We collected the true Butia capitatain Goiás (Fig. 2), which I had
also collected in Bahia in 1986 and 1988, and we also collected Butia in Rio
Grande do Sul and Paraguay. Seeing all of these Butia on the same trip
made me realize more than ever that they were not the same species and
I began to recognise that the name Butia capitata was being used
incorrectly. Most of the Butia palms in the southern Brazil (Santa Catarina,
Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay were being classified as Butia capitata,
when Martius had clearly collected and described the species from plants
collected in Central Brazil (Minas Gerais). The real Butia capitata was the
shorter-trunked Butia with the elongated, elliptical fruits and foot-ball
shaped endocarps growing in central Brazil. Those growing in the south
with their rounded fruits and rounded endocarps needed another name
(or names) and that name would be Butia odorata.
Butia eriospatha Fig. 4, 5, 6, 7
This is perhaps the most robust species of Butia with one of the
thickest stems (Fig. 4). It grows naturally in grasslands at the higher
altitudes along with the colder temperature-loving native Araucaria angusti-
folia or Paraná pine. It is easily identified by its hairy peduncular bracts (Fig.
8 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
Figure 3 - Butia capitata growing at MBC from
near Sitio d’ Abadia, Goiás.
Figure 4 - Butia eriospatha in habitat near Colonia
Mendes, Paraná, Brazil with Araucaria angustifolia,
the Pananápine.
Figure 5 - Butia eriospatha with young infructes-
cence and wooly peduncular bract.
Figure 6 - Butia
eriospatha closeup of
the wooly peduncular
bract.
Figure 7 - Butia
eriospatha growing at
MBC from Paraná,
Brazil.
Fig. 3
Fig. 5
Fig. 4
5), which are covered by thick, chestnut-colored hairs that are
somewhat wooly in texture (Fig. 6), smaller female flowers and
rounded endocarps. It grows in Santa Catarina and I have visited
natural populations of it in Paraná, but I was unable to find native
specimens in Rio Grande do Sul, because I only found it growing
near old homesteads where it had obviously been cultivated.
Deble (2011) and Soares (2014) however affirm that it is native
to the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Our specimens at MBC came
from Paraná (Fig. 7).
Butia marmorii Fig. 8, 9, 10
This interesting acaulescent Butia was discovered by
Guillermo Marmori, a Paraguayan botanist, along a roadside in an
open grassy area, its discovery was really quite accidental. He
showed us the well-camouflaged palm in 1996 (Fig. 8). It cannot
be seen easily from a moving car. One must exit the vehicle and
walk around searching carefully among the grasses, but once
spotted it is actually quite abundant locally. I was hoping the
graduate student working on Butia at the times would describe it,
but she changed careers instead. So years later, I finally described
it along with other discoveries that I had made (Noblick 2006).
Butia marmorii is very small, and camouflages itself easily among
the grasses, so we were reluctant to plant them out at MBC and
instead kept them as potted plants in the nursery (Fig. 9).
Unfortunately our last one died of crownrot in 2014. These palms
were grown from seed that I had collected in 2004 and we had
managed to keep alive for 10 years (perhaps that is their normal
lifespan). Its purple-flowered inflorescences were among the
smallest I have seen (Fig. 10).
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 9
Fig. 7
Fig. 6
10 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
Figure 8 - Butia marmorii in
habitat in Alto Paraná, Paraguay
with Hazel Cropper.
Figure 9 - Butia marmorii growing
at MBC from Paraguay.
Figure 10 - Butia marmorii
showing its tiny inflorescence.
Figure 11 - Butia noblickii in
habitat near Paso de los Libres,
Argentina.
Figure 12 - Butia noblickii in
habitat near Paso de los Libres,
Argentina.
Figure 13 - Butia noblickii growing
at MBC from Paso de los Libres,
Argentina.
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 8
Butia noblickii Fig. 11, 12, 13
Near the Argentinian border
town of Paso de los Libres across the
Uruguay river from Uruguaiana, Brazil,
I collected from a population of Butia
that I felt may be different enough to
recognize as a new species. So
because I mentioned this in an email
or one of my publications, Deble and
Marchiori(2012b) decided to describe
and name it Butia noblickii. However I
was and I am still not completely sure
that the differences that I noted do
not fall within the natural variation
seen in other Butia yatay populations.
The differences I recorded from this
population were that the rachillae or
primary inflorescence branches of this
species were thinner, straighter and
nearly lacking floral bracts. Deble and
Marchiori (2012) further distinguished
it from Butia yatay by the form and
dimensions of its pistillate flowers
(which I had also noted), the thickness
of its peduncular bract, its shorter
trunk, and the shape of its crown and
the dimensions of its leaves. They
distinguished it from their newly
described Butia quaraimana, whose
population is located near Quarai, Rio
Grande do Sul, about 70 miles away,
by a thinner woody-papery
peduncular bract, fewer rachillae and
smaller, differently shaped pistillate
flowers (Deble et al. 2012b).
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 11
Fig. 13
Butia odorata Fig. 14, 15, 16,
17, 18, 19
When I discovered that Butia
capitata was the incorrect name
for the taller Butia in the most
southern Brazilian state of Rio
Grande do Sul and Uruguay, I
began to search for the correct
name. I found one of the
earliest names that was used
for the southern Butia was the
name Cocos odorata, described
first by João Barbosa Rodrigues
(1903). I transferred Cocos
odoratato to Butia odorata
(Noblick, 2011) after a few
failed attempts by myself and
others to do so (i.e. Noblick,
2010). This is the proper name
to be used on the large Butia
from the southern coastal tip
of Brazil and eastern Uruguay.
This Butia species is highly sought for its edible
fruits, many of which are sweet and delicious
(sweeter than the real B. capitata). It has
rounded endocarps, rather than fusiform ones.
To be expected, this name change has been very
unpopular. Many scientists and non-scientists
have been using the name Butia capitata for the
wrong plant for the last couple hundred years
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
and may continue to do so,since
the popular and traditional use of
names is a difficult habit to break.
Deble et al. (2011) from
Rio Grande do Sul have written
that the palm I considered as B.
odorata corresponds to B. pulposa.
They (Deble et al. 2011) argue that
the distribution of those two
species are different with B. odorata
growing in the interior, mainly on
granitic grasslands in the municipios
of Armarl Ferrador, Dom Feliciano
and Cristal (all less than 40 miles
from the coast), while B. pulposa
grows in the dunes and grasslands
of coastal Rio Grande do Sul and
Uruguay. Consulting the original
descriptions, we find that Barbosa
Rodrigues (1903) personally saw
them both growing together in the
same spot, in fields near the coast
in Uruguay (Isla de los Padres, Rio-
Cebolate). Both Glassman (1979)
and Soares (2013, 2014) considered
them as the same species or
Figure 14 - Large Butia odorata population in the background near Rocha, Uruguay.
Figure 15 - Butia odorata in habitat with large persistent leaf sheath bases near Rocha, Uruguay.
Figure 16 - Butia odorata in habitat with clean trunk near Rocha, Uruguay.
Figure 17 - Butia odorata infructescence from Rocha, Uruguay with orange, round fruits.
Figure 18 - Butia odorata close up of light orange, depressed-globose fruits near Rocha, Uruguay. Fruit shape
is typical of what was formerly known as Butia pulposa.
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 13
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
synonymous species. I also consider them to be a local
variation of the same species within the same population
and therefore synonymous names. Since the name Cocos
odorata comes before Coco spulposa in the original printed
publication (Barbosa Rodrigues 1903), priority belongs to
the name Cocos odorata. Therefore Butia odorata becomes
the correct name of the common Butia found in the
southern coastal areas of Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay.
Butia odorata in Amarl Ferrador and the other
municipios mentioned is less than to 40 km from the
coast and at what point should it no longer be considered
coastal? The different growth form of Butia odorata
observed by Deble (2011) and his co-authors is surely
due to the change in local soil conditions from sandy to
granitic soils. Soares (2014) considers the Butia
populations of Amarl Ferrador, Camaquã, Cristal and
Encruzilhada do Sulto be natural populations of Butia
odorata and I tend to agree.
Butia paraguayensis Fig. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
Several plants go by this name. They are found
from the Brazilian state of São Paulo, through Paraguay
and Argentina to Uruguay. I find the group variable and
difficult to understand and it may be a complex of species,
rather than just one single variable species. The palms in
Fig. 19
Fig. 22
14 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
Brazil and half way down into
Paraguay are small to medium-sized
trees with relatively short rachillae in
their inflorescence, but the closer
one gets to the Argentina border
(near Rio Paraná) the more robust
the trees become with longer
rachillae. Most are single-stemmed,
but a few (e.g. San Estanislao,
Paraguay) are at times clustering (Fig.
21). We have had a difficult time
growing some of these at MBC and
yet others grow well, which would
indicate that they are not all the
same. In São Paulo, Paraná and Rio
Grande do Sul, and central Paraguay,
the palms have stems that are 1–2.5
meters tall (fig. 20, 22, 23). In
Argentina, most short Butia are
identified as B. paraguayensis, but
many of these may be misidentified
B. yatay. One specimen collected near
Riachuelo, Corrientes, Argentina is
likely a B. paraguayensis. In northern
Uruguay, there is an odd disjunct
population of Butia paraguayensis,
which have short-stemmed palms
that have only been found grow on
top of one highly eroded flat-topped
mount called Cerro Mirinaque just
west of Minas de Corrales, Uruguay
(Fig. 24, 25). It is the only known
population in Uruguay.
Fig. 21
Fig. 20
Figure 19 - Butia odorata growing at MBC
from near Castillos, Rocha, Uruguay.
Figure 20 - Small Butia paraguayensis in
habitat near San Estanislao, Paraguay.
Figure 21 - Butia paraguayensis growing at
MBC from San Estanislao, Paraguay with a
main stem accompanied by multiple smaller
clustering stems at its base.
Figure 22 - Butia paraguayensis from
Mbaracuyu Natural Forest Preserve,
Paraguay. Small to medium sized trees with
relatively thin trunks and in the author’s
opinion the truest form of Butia
paraguayensis.
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 15
Fig. 23
Fig. 24
Fig. 27
Figure 23 - Butia paraguayensis in habitat in
Caaguazu, Paraguay showing its thicker trunk.
Figure 24 - Small form of Butia paraguayensis in
habitat from an isolated population near Rivera,
Uruguay and only found on top of the flat-topped
Cerro Mirinaque.
Figure 25 (back cover) - Small form of Butia
paraguayensis in flower on top of Cerro Miriñaque,
Rivera, Uruguay.
Figure 26 - Butia paraguayensis (Rio Parnaná) near
Santa Maria, Paraguay, ca. 40 km or less from the
Parana River. Note inflorescences with long rachillae.
Figure 27 - Butia paraguayensis (Rio Paraná) near
Ayolas, Paraguay on the Paraná River. Note the more
robust fruiting plant with purplish fruits. Fruit color can
vary from oranges to purples.
Figure 28 - Butia paraguayensis (Rio Paraná) growing
at MBC from Ayolas, Paraguay.
Fig. 28
Fig. 26
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 17
Butia sp. (Rio Parana) Fig. 26, 27, 28
These are questionable forms of Butia paraguayensis
near the Paraná River, the border between Paraguay and
Argentina. Here, things get really confusing. Near Santa Maria,
Misiones, Paraguay, many tend to have much longer rachillae
(Fig. 26) than what I am accustomed to seeing in typical B.
paraguayensis. The common concept of
B. paraguayensis is that it has a trunk
that grows to about 2–2.5 m. Near
Ayolas, Paraguay, the plants appear to be
more robust with trunks to 3–5 m tall
or more and fruits that are variable in
color: yellow, orange, purple etc. (Fig.
27). However just east of Ayolas, on
Yacyretá Island in the Paraná River,
where the dam is located, the Butia are
nearly all acaulescent with smaller
inflorescences.
Butia yatay Fig. 29, 30, 31, 32
I have seen and collected B.
yatay in its natural habitat in Argentina
and Uruguay. They are among the tallest
of the Butia (Fig. 29). They can begin
flowering and fruiting at a young stage
and for that reason they are often
misidentified as B. paraguayensis when
they are still acaulescent and producing
smaller inflorescences. The myth that
true Butia yatay does not produce
inflorescences until it is several meters
tall is just not true. Our young plants
grown from seed collected from near
the type locality for B. yatayin Argentina (Fig. 30) are already
reproductively active (Fig. 31). Smaller plants produce small
inflorescences and larger plants produce larger inflorescences
with the largest trees producing the largest inflorescences and
infructescences that are often used in their identification.
When still juvenile with short trunks and persistent leaf bases,
Fig. 30
Fig. 29
Figure 29 - Fully grown more than 10-m tall Butia yatay near Quebracho, Uruguay.
Figure 30 - Butia yatay from near San Roque, Argentina, close to the type locality for
this species. Note the numerous spiny persistent leaf sheaths below the crown.
Figure 31 - Butia yatay growing at MBC from San Roque, Argentina with a mature
infructescence.
Figure 32 (next page) - Butia yatay in habitat near Quebracho, Uruguay with Dra.
Ma. Cristina M. Repetto. Note the many long persistent spiny leaf sheath bases on
the juvenile palm forming an effective defensive barrier for its fruit and leaves.
18 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
they appear to form a barrier
of persistent, narrow,spiny
petioles that make the leaves
and infructescences difficult to
get to by cattle (Fig. 32),
whereas Butia odorata do not
have such defences and are
often decimated by cattle
grazing. In my opinion the only
true Butia yatay is the one in
Argentina and Uruguay. In
1992, while visiting a Rio
Grande do Sul herbarium, I
saw an unusual dried
specimen of Butia from the
town of Giruá and it made me
curious enough to take a bus
to the northwestern part of
Rio Grande do Sul and see if I
could find it. It turns out that
this local palm was being used
as a street tree and could be
found in many people’s yards.
This Butia from Giruá was
tentatively identified as Butia
cf. yatay, but it didn’t quite fit
the description. Deble and
Marichiori (2012) have
described it as B. missionera
and I think I may agree with
them, because the female
flowers are consistently much
smaller than what I have seen
in Butiayatay, but Soares
(2013, 2014), who has more
field experience than I in Rio
Grande do Sul,still classifies it
as Butia yatay. So these two
resident scientists from Rio
Grande do Sul disagree. They
also disagree on another Butia
species from Rio Grande do
Sul. Near the town of Quaria,
Deble and Marchiori (2012)
described Butia quaraimana,
which both Noblick (2010)
and especially Soares (2013,
2014) have called Butia yatay,
but once again I have doubts. I
accepted the existence of B.
yatay in Brazil trusting my
Brazilian colleagues. Not
having visited the populations
near Quaria, like Lorenzi,
Soares and Longhi, I am in no
Fig. 31
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 19
position to make any conclusions on my own. Soares and
Longhi (2014) have made detailed measurements on 79
specimens from Quaria before they came to their conclusion.
Nevertheless I do not know if they ever visited the type
populations in Argentina for a truly accurate comparison to
the original B. Yatay near San Roque as Deble and his
colleagues have done.
Keys to Butia
I am not even going to pretend that I could really
write a decent key to all of the Butia, as the following key only
works well if one is keying out adult plants and that is the
best that I can offer for now. Juvenile forms of Butia are
difficult to separate. The problem with Butia is that they begin
to flower and fruit from a young age and the smaller the plant
the smaller the inflorescence and likewise the larger the plant
the larger the inflorescence, so any key basing its identifi-
cation on the size of the inflorescence is flawed when dealing
with the identification of a young or juvenile plant.
Consequently many younger, acaulescent Butia plants
(especially B. yatay) usually get erroneously classified as Butia
paraguayensis.
References
Bailey, L.H. 1936. Astrocaryum, Butia. Gentes Herb. 4: 1–50.
Barbosa Rodrigues, J. 1903. SertumPalmarumBrasiliensium,
ouRelation des PalmiersNouveaux du Bresil, Decouverts, Descrits et
Dessinesd’apresNature. 1: 1–140, 91 plates; 2: 1–114, 83 plates.
Bruxelles. Both volumes reprinted as one book in 1989.
Publicação do JardimBotânico de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ISBN
85-208-0119-6. 254 pp. and 174 color plates originally painted
by Barbosa Rodrigues himself.
Beccari, O. 1887. Le palmaeinclusenelgenero Cocos Linn.
Malpighia 1: 352.
Beccari, O. 1916. Ilgenere Cocos Linn. e le palmeaffini. Agric.
Colon. 10: 489–524.
Burret, M. 1930. Butia microspadix Burret n. sp.Notizbl. Bot.
Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1050–1051.
Deble, L.P. and J.N.C. Marchiori. 2006. Butia lallemantii, uma
nova Arecaceae do Brasil. Balduinia 9: 1–3.
Deble,L.P., J.N.C. Marchiori, F. S.Alves and A.S. Oliveira-Deble.
2011. Survey on Butia (Becc.) Becc. (Arecaceae) from Rio
Fig. 32
20 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
Key for the identification of native species of Butia
(from Noblick 2010)
1. Plants almost always caespitose or clustering …………………………………………………………………… B. lallemantii
1a. Plants generally solitary ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
2. Margins of the petiole unarmed, smooth or fibrous, but not toothed, plants usually small in size with a short to
subterranean stem (except B. purpurescens) ………………………………………………………………………………… 3
3. Plants with a moderately short stem, 1.2–4.0 m tall; inflorescence often purplish colored with inflorescence axis
49–64 cm long………………………………………………………………………………………… B. purpurescens
3a. Plants acaulescent or with a very short trunk (less than 1 m); inflorescence greenish, branched with its branched
parts 11–30 cm long or spicate ………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
4. Inflorescence branched, rarely spicate and infructescence does not exceed the peduncular bract ……………. 5
4a. Inflorescence spicate, rarely branched and the infructescence does exceed the peduncular bract ………… 8
5. Peduncular bract glaucous at maturity, or if sparsely lepidote then with the expanded part 24–40 cm long;
branched part of the inflorescence 20–30 cm (7.8” to 12”) long …………………………………… B. archeri
5a. Peduncular bract covered (at least partially so when young) by lepidote, short pubescence or dense, wooly
tomentum, with the expanded part 4–18 cm (1.5” to 7”) long; branched part of the inflorescence 9–14 cm
(3.5” to 5.5”) long ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
6. Inflorescence usually with (3–) 8–18 branches, peduncular bract covered with a thick wooly tomentum,
woody in texture …………………………………………………………………………. B. microspadix
6a. Inflorescence usually with 1–8 branches, peduncular bract covered with a lepidote to short
pubescence, if glabrous then peduncular bract papery in texture ……………………………………… 7
7. Peduncular bract opaque papery and glabrous to lepidote, peduncle 4.5–9.0 cm (1.7” to 3.5”) long,
rachillae to 7 cm long ……………………………………………………………………. B. marmorii
7a. Peduncular bract much thicker than paper and covered with a short pubescence, peduncle
14–34 cm (5.5” to 13”) long, rachillae to 15 cm (6”) long …………………………… B. pubispatha
8. Leaf rachis less than 12 cm (5”) long, pinnae crowded together on the rachis, pistillate flowers less than
4 mm long ……………………………………………………………………………………… B. exospadix
8a. Leaf rachis greater than 18 cm (7”) long, pinnae regularly spaced with up to 1–3 cm (.4” to 1.1”) between
the pinnae, pistillate flowers greater than 4.5 mm long ………………………………………………… 9
9. Peduncular bract 9–15 cm (3.5” to 6”) long, extremely thin, papery, like translucent onion skin, spike
(spadix) only to 4 cm (1.6”) long ………………………………………………………… B. leptospatha
9a. Peduncular bract 40–73 cm (15.7” to 29”) long, thicker, coriaceous, opaque, spike greater than
10 cm long ………………………………………………………………………………… B. campicola
2a. Margins of the petiole with flat rigid fibers, often in the form of teeth or spines, mostly tree sized plants, rarely with
subterranean stems (except B. matogrossensis and juveniles) ……………………………………………………………… 10
10. Mature fruits larger 3.0–4.0 cm (1” to 1.6”) long ………………………………………………………………… 11
11. Female flowers 3–9 mm long ……………………………………………………………………… B. capitata
11a. Female flowers 10–20 mm long ……………………………………………………………………………… 12
The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 21
Grande do Sul State (Brazil) Balduinia 30: 5–22.
Deble, L.P., J.N.C. Marchiori, F. S. Alves and A.S. Oliveira-Deble.
2012a. Butia quaraimana (Arecaceae), uma nova especie para o
Rio Grande do Sul (Brasil). Balduinia 33: 9–24.
Deble, L.P., J.N.C. Marchiori, F. da Silva Aves, A.S. de O. Deble.
2012b. O tipo de Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc. edescrição de
umaespécie nova de gênero. Balduinia 35: 1–18.
Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley
and C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum: The evolution and
classification of palms. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew.
Glassman, S.F. 1970. A conspectus of the palm genus Butia
Becc. Fieldiana, Bot. 32: 127–172.
Glassman, S.F. 1979. Re-evaluation of the genus Butia with a
description of a new species. Principes 23(2): 65–79.
Herter, W.G.1940. Plantae Uruguayenses novae vel
criticae.Revista Sulamer. Bot. 6: 148.1940
Martel, C., L. Noblick and F. W. Stauffer. 2013. An anatomical
character to support the cohesive unit of Butia species. Palms
57(1): 30–35.
Mattos, J. 1977a. Variadadesnovas da flora Brasileira.Loefgrenia
71: 1.
Mattos, J. 1977b. Palmeiras do Rio Grande do Sul. Roessleria
1: 5–94.
Mattos, J. 2008. Novidades da Sistematica de Myrtaceae
Key to the native species of Butia (continued)
12. Plants acaulescent or with a stem 1–3 m tall; pinnae 40–55 in number along each side of the rachis;
expanded part of the peduncular bract 40–60 cm long ……………………………………………………… 13
13. Peduncular bract initially covered with a fine lepidote, older bracts with blackened dots where lepidote
was attached, plants acaulescent to ca. 30 cm (12”) of trunk ………………………… B. lepidotispatha
13a. Peduncular bract usually glabrous to glaucous, smooth, plants to 3 (–5) m tall … B. paraguayensis
12a. Plants with stem 4–8 m tall; pinnae 68–72 in number along each side of the rachis; expanded part of the
peduncular bract 115–125 cm (45” to 49”) long ……………………………………………………… B. yatay
10a. Mature fruits small, 1.5–2.8 (.6” to 1.1”) cm long; female flowers 3–9 mm long ………………………………… 14
14. Peduncular bract covered with dense chestnut colored tomentum …………………………… B. eriospatha
14a. Peduncular bract glaucous or glabrous ……………………………………………………………………… 15
15. Plants of the cerrado of Central Brazil, petiole teeth on upper part of the petiole at most just stiff fibrous
remains ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
16. Stems to 2 m, leaf rachis 80–171 cm, (31.4” to 67”) 49–53 pinnae, expanded portion of peduncular
bract 50–80 cm, (19.5” to 31.4”) 58–85 rachillae, fruit yellow when mature ………………… B. capitata
16a. Mostly subterranean stem, leaf rachis shorter 55–88 cm, (21.6” to 34.6”) 32–45 pinnae, expanded
portion of peduncular bract 20–40 cm, (8” to 15.7”) 14–37 rachillae, fruit green or purplish green when
mature ………………………………………………………………………………… B. matogrossensis
15a. Plants of the coastal restinga of southern Brazil, petiole teeth on the upper part of the apparent petiole
actually teeth-like ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
17. Coastal Santa Catarina south to extreme NE coastal Rio Grande do Sul, trees to 2 m x 15–30 cm
(6” to 12”), pinnae usually less than 60 in number, peduncular bract on the more recent inflorescences
usually widest above the middle of the inflated portion and abruptly terminating in a short beak, fruits often
longer than wide, endocarp narrowly oblong, ovoid, fusiform, but rarely round ………… B. catarinensis
17a. Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul south to southern coastal Rio Grande do Sul and Uruguay, larger
trees to 9 m x 32–58 cm (12.5” to 23”), pinnae usually more than 60 in number, peduncular bract on the
more recent inflorescences usually widest near the middle of the inflated portion and more or less
gradually tapering to its apex; fruits often broader than long, endocarp usually round ………… B. odorata
22 The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014
Key to Butia species from Rio Grande do Sul
(modified from Soares et al. 2014, including two new
species not included in the previous key)
1. Plants clustering, rarely solitary ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
2. Peduncular bract covered with a whitish to reddish-brown indument, endocarp oval, 1–2.2 x 0.7–1.5 cm …… B. exilata
2a. Peduncular bract glabrous, endocarp, elongate, turbinate or ellipsoid 2.0–3.3 x 0.9–2.0 cm …………… B. lallemantii
1a. Plants solitary, never or (very rarely) clustering ……………………………………………………………………………… 3
3. Female flowers up to 9 mm long, endocarp globose or ovoid …………………………………………………………… 4
4. Peduncular bract covered with dense wooly chestnut colored indument that persists even after the bract falls off
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. B. eriospatha
4a. Peduncular bract never covered with a dense wooly indumenta, at the most only by a thin frosting …………… 5
5. Stem 0.2–2 (–4) m long, 15–43 cm (6” to 17”) diameter; peduncular bract with apiculate bract, endocarp
1.2–1.4 x 0.8–1.2 cm, endocarp narrowly ovoide ………………………………………………… B. catarinensis
5a. Stem 2–10 m long, 32–60 cm (12.6” to 23.5”) diameter; peduncular bract with only an acute tip, endocarp
1.3–2.2 x 1.3–2 cm, globose or slightly ovoid ……………………………………………………………. B. odorata
3a. Female flowers more than 9 mm long, endocarp ellipsoid, elliptic-angular to turbinate ………………………………. 6
6. Stem subterranean to 2 m tall, expanded part of peduncular bract 20–50 cm (7.8” to 19.5”) long, rachis of
inflorescence 13–40 cm (5” to 15.6”) long …………………………………………………………… B. paraguayensis
6a. Stem 3–16 cm (1.2” to 6.3”) tall, expanded part of peduncular bract 50–85 cm (19.5” to 33.5”) long, rachis of
inflorescence 40–72 cm (15.7” to 28.3”) long …………………………………………………………………………… 7
7. Leaves 43–61 leaflets, middle leaflets 40–65 cm (15.7” to 25.5”) long, heavy fruits, more than 23.6 g, endocarp
angular 2.8–3.8 x 1.7–2.6 cm with 3 visible longitudinal edges ………………………………………… B. witechii
7a. Leaves (57) 63–78 leaflets, middle leaflets (58) 65–77 cm (25.5” to 30.3”) long, fruits lighter less than 23.4 g,
endocarp elongate, ellipsoid or turbinate, without longitudinal edges ……………………………………… B. yatay
ePalmae.Loefgrenia 125: 6
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The Palm Journal #208 - Fall 2014 23
... Butia Becc. is a monophyletic genus that has undergone significant taxonomic changes in the last years (Merrow et al. 2009(Merrow et al. , 2015Noblick 2010Noblick , 2014Soares 2015). The most in-depth morphological description of the genus was made by Dransfield et al. (2008). ...
... Butia Becc. is a monophyletic genus that has undergone significant taxonomic changes in the last years (Merrow et al. 2009(Merrow et al. , 2015Noblick 2010Noblick , 2014Soares 2015). The most in-depth morphological description of the genus was made by Dransfield et al. (2008). ...
... The most in-depth morphological description of the genus was made by Dransfield et al. (2008). Later, Noblick (2010) presented a new circumscription for the genus including 18 species. The last review of Butia recognized 22 taxa including 20 accepted species (one of them segregated in two varieties) and one undescribed species (Soares 2015). ...
Article
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Butia buenopolensis, a new dwarf Arecaceae species, is described. Butia buenopolensis occurs in the Serra do Cabral mountain range in Buenópolis municipatility, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Despite its diminutive size, it has arched yellowish-green leaves and pinnae not as narrow as the species of the grass-like Butia. The new species is closely related to B. archeri, based on morphology, phenology (flowering time) and habitat. They differ in leaf anatomy, plant size, color and size of inflorescence. Some novelties in Butia flower morphology, such as striated cuticle of anthers, functional staminodes presenting evidence of secretory activity, raphides on the petals of pistillate flowers and the cappilinection adhesion of petal margins, were introduced here and suggested as a new approach for future taxonomical and evolutionary studies of this genus. The isolated and small groups of fibers in the mesophyll and a non-vascular fiber bundle connected to the adaxial epidermis in the leaf midrib have not been found in any other Butia so far. The one population recorded for the new species is restricted to an area near the limits of Serra do Cabral State Park, clearly vulnerable to different forms of anthropic pressure. So, it is strongly recommended an extension in area of Serra do Cabral State Park to include the B. buenopolensis range of occurrence within its borders.
... Indeed, there is no consensus regarding the present total number of species, some of them being still questionable according to Noblick (2014). Noblick (2010) reported that 18 species occur naturally, predominantly in areas in southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, north-eastern Argentina, and north-western and south-eastern Uruguay. ...
... Also, he considered B. bonnetii, B. poni and B. pungens as doubtful. Characters derived from the external morphology such as the general aspect of the plant, size of inflorescences and fruit colour may be highly variable intraspecifically (Noblick 2014). This variability put together with the relevance attributed to a given character by each author when circumscribing a taxon, perpetuate the taxonomic deadlocks regarding the genus. ...
... Currently, there are two identification keys proposed by Noblick (2010) and Soares et al. (2014)-modified by Noblick (2014); both are based solely on external morphology. The most comprehensive key includes 17 species (Noblick 2014) is only effective, according to the author, if used with mature plants. ...
Article
Full-text available
Butia is a neotropical genus whose identification is based mostly on characters from external morphology, which are sometimes variable or inadequate for species differentiation. We aimed to verify if leaf anatomy of 18 Butia species brings new characters suitable for species identification and if it corroborates the phylogenetic relationship within the genus. Moreover, we propose an anatomical key to assist in species identification. Pinnae were collected and subjected to the usual techniques for light and scanning electron microscopies. The anatomical key was created with the aid of Xper2 software, based on the importance of characters to distinguish species according to the Jaccard index. All species have isobilateral mirrored mesophyll, amphistomatic leaves and secondary vascular bundles with sclerenchymatic sheath reinforcement connected to the hypodermis. Among the species studied, B. marmorii and B. matogrossensis showed exclusive characters. For the other species, up to five characters are sufficient for delimitation. Our anatomical key presents relevant characters that allow the identification of the recognised species of Butia. Reliable anatomical characters of easy observation, especially the raphides are valuable in species distinction. Leaf anatomy, already used to support new taxa in related genera like Allagoptera and Syagrus, can also be useful to validate questionable Butia species and differentiate between similar species but do not reflect the proposed relationship between Butia species.
... (Arecaceae) es un género compuesto por 24 especies. Sin embargo, debido a la complejidad de las delimitaciones taxonómicas de este género, el número de especies puede variar en la literatura (Noblick, 2014;Soares, 2015). Butia se distingue de su género ilogenéticamente más cercano Jubaea, en que el primero suele tener peciolos con espinas y sus lores presentan seis estambres en lugar de numerosos (Dransield et al., 2007). ...
... Butia marmorii presenta una pequeña distribución en el departamento de Alto Paraná (Paraguay) asociadas a formaciones vegetales de Cerrado (Noblick, 2006;Zuloaga et al., 2019, Fig. 1E). Butia yatay es quizás una de las especies del género que alcanza las mayores alturas del fuste (12 m) (Noblick, 2014). Esta especie se distribuye en Argentina, Brasil y Uruguay sobre campos Figura 1. Distribución del género Butia basada en los registros de presencia de las distintas especies. ...
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Se presenta una breve descripción de la distribución de las especies del género Butia, ambientes donde estas crecen y su estado de conservación.
... (Arecaceae) es un género compuesto por 24 especies. Sin embargo, debido a la complejidad de las delimitaciones taxonómicas de este género, el número de especies puede variar en la literatura (Noblick, 2014;. Butia se distingue de su género ilogenéticamente más cercano Jubaea, en que el primero suele tener peciolos con espinas y sus lores presentan seis estambres en lugar de numerosos (Dransield et al., 2007). ...
... Butia marmorii presenta una pequeña distribución en el departamento de Alto Paraná (Paraguay) asociadas a formaciones vegetales de Cerrado (Noblick, 2006;Zuloaga et al., 2019, Fig. 1E). Butia yatay es quizás una de las especies del género que alcanza las mayores alturas del fuste (12 m) (Noblick, 2014). Esta especie se distribuye en Argentina, Brasil y Uruguay sobre campos Figura 1. Distribución del género Butia basada en los registros de presencia de las distintas especies. ...
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En este libro se analizan un conjunto de palmeras de relevancia biológica y cultural local en distintos biomas de Argentina, del sur de Brasil y de Uruguay, que revisten las características de NUS mencionadas previamente. El contenido está organizado en tres partes, las que pueden visualizarse rápidamente según el tono de verde que aparece en la carátula de cada capítulo. La primera parte, integrada por el Capítulo 1, analiza especies de palmeras del Viejo Mundo introducidas, asilvestradas y frecuentemente consideradas como invasoras, conceptos que se pondrán en tensión a lo largo del texto. Se desarrolla la historia de cinco especies introducidas en tiempos remotos y de importancia económica y cultural tanto en sus lugares de origen como en los sitios que actualmente los albergan. A lo largo del análisis de cada caso, se generan las bases para proponer la revalorización patrimonial de estos recursos locales y destacar el estado de subutilización de los mismos. La segunda parte, incluye cuatro capítulos en los que se analizan palmeras de distintos biomas del norte de Argentina. El Capítulo 2 trata sobre las palmas que prosperan en ambientes no selváticos del sur de la provincia de Misiones. Se analizan las especies acaules- o con tallos robustos- del distrito de los campos y especies ruderales que van ampliando su distribución en respuesta a las modificaciones antrópicas. Dada la vulnerabilidad y diversidad de usos son consideradas especies NUS cuya gestión podría contribuir en la conservación de los pastizales de la región. Los Capítulos 3 y 4 analizan, desde una perspectiva etnobiológica, las dos especies de palmeras de mayor importancia cultural de la provincia argentina de Misiones y regiones limítrofes de Brasil y Paraguay. En ambos capítulos se analizan las estrategias locales de cultivo de las poblaciones silvestres del pindó y el palmito, respectivamente. Se utiliza el término cultivo en sentido amplio, el cual incluye todas las intervenciones que promueven el desarrollo de las especies con distinto grado de intensidad, las cuales en orden ascendente pueden ser tolerancia, protección, recolección, promoción, siembra y trasplante, según lo propuesto por Casas (2001). En ese contexto de manejo difuso la noción de poblaciones silvestres y cultivadas pierde antagonismo, tal como ha sido claramente fundamentado por Levis et al. (2018). En el Capítulo 3 se describe la diversidad de usos y aplicaciones que reciben diferentes partes de la palmera Syagrus romanzzofiana en comunidades guaraníes, donde esta especie es importante en la reproducción material y social y cuyo manejo es uno de los factores que modela la apropiación del paisaje habitado. En el Capítulo 4 se encuentra un análisis similar al anterior tomando a Euterpe edulis y poblaciones criollas y colonas del norte de la provincia. A lo largo del texto se resalta el rol de esta especie en la economía familiar y, especialmente, en la consolidación de sistemas productivos que promueven la conservación de los remanentes de bosques a partir del uso. Asimismo, se pone en evidencia la importancia de la gestión del paisaje para conservar a esta especie endémica del bosque atlántico y con alto valor funcional en el ecosistema local. El Capítulo 5 desarrolla una revisión etnobotánica de dos palmeras típicas de Chaco húmedo y semiárido Copernicia alba y Trithrinax schizophylla, ambas de gran importancia simbólica y utilitaria. Se destaca el rol actual y poco visible de estas especies en las economías regionales y su problemática de conservación por la acelerada y constante modiicación de los paisajes que las albergan. La tercera parte, está formada por un cuadro y cuatro capítulos. El cuadro introductorio trata sobre el género Butia. Género endémico de Sudamérica, compuesto por 24 especies, parte de las que están aún en revisión. discusión. Se analiza brevemente las especies reconocidas a la fecha y se graica la distribución geográica de las mismas. Los cuatro capítulos que integran este apartado analizan distintos casos de manejo y conservación de palmares de este género. El Capítulo 6 analiza la problemática de la conservación estricta de Butia yatay en el Parque Nacional El Palmar, Entre Ríos, Argentina. Comprende un interesante recorrido histórico del manejo de estos palmares, su importancia ecológica y cultural. Se evidencia que la ausencia de manejo no contribuye a la conservación de la especie. Los tres capítulos restantes analizan diferentes aspectos de Butia odorata en el sureste de Uruguay y el sur de Brasil. El Capítulo 7 es una revisión de los usos registrados en la literatura para esta especie en el sureste de Uruguay, a la que se suman a datos inéditos de los autores. Se destaca la importancia económica y simbólica de la especie. En los Capítulos 8 y 9 se desarrollan dos casos diferentes de estrategias de conservación de los palmares a partir del uso. Los aportes y las discusiones desarrolladas en estos apartados se complementan de modo interesante con lo analizado en el Capítulo 6. Se pone en evidencia la complejidad y las diicultades que implican la conservación de los paisajes desde distintas estrategias. Asimismo, se señala la fortaleza que imprime a las gestiones internacionales el trabajo en redes dedicadas a un mismo tema. En el Capítulo 8 (en portugués) se analizan las ventajas de la ganadería en campos nativos, como una estrategia de la conservación y restauración de los butiazales del sur de Brasil y el este de Uruguay. Se exponen los resultados de distintos manejos experimentales y se analizan fortalezas y debilidades. Asimismo, en el Capítulo 9 se brinda un recorrido de las iniciativas y resultados alcanzados en la Red Palmar, la que representa un programa internacional abocado a la gestión de la conservación de los butiazales a partir del uso sostenible. Esta experiencia demuestra que el fortalecimiento de los vínculos interpersonales y con su territorio patrimonializa la problemática, dinamiza la economía local y genera acciones desde los propios actores.
... The areas where Butia marmorii occurred when it was described are not under legal protection (Noblick 2006). Most of the biological traits of B. marmorii remain unknown, and the few scientific references that exist deal with descriptions and distribution (Pintaud et al. 2008;Stevens 2014;Soares 2015), and a historic anecdotal narration by Noblick (2014). Hoffmann et al. (2014) provided a summary of studies on the genus, highlighting the lack of information available for B. marmorii. ...
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The palm Butia marmorii Noblick was described in 2006 and has been found to date in only two populations in Paraguay. It is a species threatened mainly due to habitat loss and its ecology is largely unknown. Here we performed a potential distribution analysis, providing data about its distribution and ecology. This work was carried out in the Alto Paraná Department, eastern Paraguay, South America. We analyzed satellite images, in conjunction with a multi-temporal analysis using the sensors Landsat 1-MSS,5-TM,8-OLI, of the years 1973, 1984, 2002, 2012 and 2013; and a posterior visual interpretation of an ASTER ASTGTM2 radar image. The final step was an in situ visual verification. We registered 27 potential sites of distribution for Butia marmorii, finding it present in four sites, two of them with limited anthropogenic impacts. We found a density of 0.0054 to 0.11 individuals/m², and associations with the congener B. paraguayensis. These new Paraguayan populations of Butia marmorii provide verifiable data demonstrating that anthropogenic impact is the principal threat to the species. Here we found that the situation of B. marmorii is even worse than supposed before, and hence we consider the species to be Critically Endangered. © 2017 Irene Gauto, Fernando Palacios, Pamela Marchi, Nelson Silva, Gloria Céspedes.
... The areas where Butia marmorii occurred when it was described are not under legal protection (Noblick 2006). Most of the biological traits of B. marmorii remain unknown, and the few scientific references that exist deal with descriptions and distribution (Pintaud et al. 2008;Stevens 2014;Soares 2015), and a historic anecdotal narration by Noblick (2014). Hoffmann et al. (2014) provided a summary of studies on the genus, highlighting the lack of information available for B. marmorii. ...
Article
Full-text available
The palm Butia marmorii Noblick was described in 2006 and has been found to date in only two populations in Paraguay. It is a species threatened mainly due to habitat loss and its ecology is largely unknown. Here we performed a potential distribution analysis, providing data about its distribution and ecology. This work was carried out in the Alto Paraná Department, eastern Paraguay, South America. We analyzed satellite images, in conjunction with a multi-temporal analysis using the sensors Landsat 1-MSS,5-TM,8-OLI, of the years 1973, 1984, 2002, 2012 and 2013; and a posterior visual interpretation of an ASTER ASTGTM2 radar image. The final step was an in situ visual verification. We registered 27 potential sites of distribution for Butia marmorii, finding it present in four sites, two of them with limited anthropogenic impacts. We found a density of 0.0054 to 0.11 individuals/m2, and associations with the congener B. paraguayensis. These new Paraguayan populations of Butia marmorii provide verifiable data demonstrating that anthropogenic impact is the principal threat to the species. Here we found that the situation of B. marmorii is even worse than supposed before, and hence we consider the species to be Critically Endangered.
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Plant traits are critical to plant form and function —including growth, survival and reproduction— and therefore shape fundamental aspects of population and ecosystem dynamics as well as ecosystem services. Here, we present a global species-level compilation of key functional traits for palms (Arecaceae), a plant family with keystone importance in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. We derived measurements of essential functional traits for all (>2500) palm species from key sources such as monographs, books, other scientific publications, as well as herbarium collections. This includes traits related to growth form, stems, armature, leaves and fruits. Although many species are still lacking trait information, the standardized and global coverage of the data set will be important for supporting future studies in tropical ecology, rainforest evolution, paleoecology, biogeography, macroecology, macroevolution, global change biology and conservation. Potential uses are comparative eco-evolutionary studies, ecological research on community dynamics, plant-animal interactions and ecosystem functioning, studies on plant-based ecosystem services, as well as conservation science concerned with the loss and restoration of functional diversity in a changing world. Machine-accessible metadata file describing the reported data: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.9766919
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Raphides are common cell inclusions in vegetative and reproductive palm organs. However, epidermal raphide-containing idioblasts are quite unusual and have been recorded only a few times on flower petals in palms. Here we describe their presence in all Butia staminate flowers sampled, and we discuss their taxonomic and biological significance.
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Butia odorata has had a convoluted journey to becoming a valid name. Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick, comb. nov.
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Two palms that imitate grass have been discovered in the natural grasslands on the border of Paraguay and Brazil. These new, illusive, grass-like species, Butia exospadix and B. marmorii, show distinctive similarities to the rarely collected Syagrus leptospatha, which is transferred to the same complex of Butia species. PALMS 50(4): 167–178 1. Butia exospadix with its grass-like habit. Butia contains nine species (Govaerts & Dransfield 2005) occurring in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Some of the members of the genus that are found in Paraguay and Brazil are among the smallest of palms. I refer to these smaller members as the grassy Butia because they blend in so perfectly with the grasses of the savanna (cerrado) that they are rarely noticed (Fig. 1). Species in this group have leaf petiole margins lined with fine fibers rather than the typical petiole spines found in most Butia species. Some of these smaller Butia species have been mistakenly placed in the genus Syagrus. Recently, Butia campicola was transferred from Syagrus (Noblick 2004). In this paper, I transfer Syagrus leptospatha Burret to Butia and also describe two new species, Butia exospadix Noblick and Butia marmorii Noblick. Several of these species roughly follow a curious distribution beginning in the north in the center of Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul in the Serra de Maracaju (B. leptospatha), extending south following the Paraguayan-Brazilian border along the Sierra de Amambay (B. leptospatha, B. exospadix) and finally turning east into the Sierra de Mbaracayú (B. campicola). Many are within the drainage of the Rio Parana (B. exospadix, B. marmorii, B. microspadix) (Fig. 2).