Hist. nat. palm. 2: 28 (1823)
Euterpe oleracea Mart.
Large, monoecious palms. Stems solitary or clustered, tall, slender, and smooth. Leaves pinnate, regularly divided; sheaths closed, forming a bluish green, yellow, or red crownshaft; pinnae numerous, one-ribbed, slender, regularly inserted, usually strongly pendulous. Inflorescence infrafoliar, more or less erect, cream coloured, once branched; branches slender, numerous, spreading, covered with a white indument; prophyll as long as the single peduncular bract and enclosing this. Flowers unisexual, borne in groups of one female and two males, or towards the apex of the branches in pairs of male flowers. Male flowers with 3 free sepals, 3 free petals, 6 stamens, and a small pistillode. Female flowers with 3 free sepals, 3 free petals, 3 united carpels, and usually no staminodes (or these very small). Fruit small, black, globose, with lateral or subapical stigmatic scar. Seedling leaves simple and bifid, or pinnately divided.
and diversity: Seven species distributed in moist and wet areas in Central America and South America, usually below ca. 1000 m elevation.
Three species in Ecuador.
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