Desmoncus mitis

Desmoncus mitis


Hist. nat. palm. 2: 90 (1824)

Understorey liana. Stem solitary, to 10 m long, ca. 1 cm in diameter. Leaves 60-70 cm long; rachis armed with short, recurved spines; pinnae 15-20 on each side, inserted in groups of 1-5, but spreading more or less in the same plane, lanceolate, 9-13 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide; distal part of the rachis with 3-5 pairs of pinnae transformed into climbing hooks, each hook 1.5-3 cm long. Inflorescence ca. 40 cm long, spineless, with 5-7 distichous branches, these to 7 cm long. Fruit red, elliptic, ca. 10 x 7 mm.

Widespread in the W Amazon region, from Venezuela to Bolivia, below 1000 m elevation.

A polymorphic species divided into five varieties.
The Ecuadorian plants belong to var. mitis.