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Astrocaryum mexicanum


Native to:



Central America

Lowland rainforest. Up to 400 meters above sea level. 5 meter tall palm.

Astrocaryum mexicanum

Ecological value:

Sharp spikes sound the trunk prevent predation. Can tolerate part shade. Most effective pollinators are small nitidulid beetles. Long-lived for a palm: can live up to 140 years. Sometimes planted as an ornamental.

Material uses:

Leaves are used for roof covering. Tool handles are made from the stems. Wood used for floors and furniture. Bark is also a source of tannins for leather.

Edible uses:

Seeds. Taste is similar to that of coconuts.

Medicinal use:

No record on this species.

Other details:

Also known as the Choco Palm. Belongs to the Anacardiaceae family which are characterized by fruits shaped as drupes. Small holes are found throughout the wood in this family.


Christina Murcia/Christine Facella


“Astrocaryum Mexicanum Liebm. Ex Mart. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 28, 2023.
Dattilo et al, ‘Tropical Forest Fragmentation Affects Floral Visitors but Not the Structure of Individual-Based Palm-Pollinator Networks’,PLoS ONE, April 2015, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0121275
Piñero, D.; Sarukhán, J. (1982). "Reproductive behaviour and its individual variability in a tropical palm, Astrocaryum mexicanum". Journal of Ecology. 70 (2): 461–472. doi:10.2307/2259915. JSTOR 2259915.
“Astrocaryum Mexicanum - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 28, 2023.
“Plants» Selina Wamucii.” n.d. Selina Wamucii. Accessed November 28, 2023.
Image source: Fritz Geller-Grimm

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