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Bactris gasipaes - Peach palm


Native to:



Southern Central America, northern South America, parts of the Caribbean

Along riverbeds and primary forest gaps. Up to 800 meters above sea level. 15 meter tall palm.

Bactris gasipaes - Peach palm

Ecological value:

Pollinated by insects, fast growing: 15 to 20 meters in just 10 years. Can grow in poor soils and withstand hot and dry seasons of up to 4 months. Prefers fertile soil. Slow to develop. Belongs to a genus of spiny palms throughout the Americas.

Material uses:

Good economic oil palm (62% oil from seed). Used in cosmetics and soap. Fiber for thatched roofs, paper and baskets. Spines of plant used for tattooing. Leaves yield green dye for fabric. Strong wood used in construction, flooring, bows and arrows.

Edible uses:

Flour from fruit and edible oil.

Medicinal use:

Oil eases rheumatic pains (used as a rub).

Other details:

Peach palm fruit is widely used as animal feed. Plants begin flowering around 3-5 years of age and will produce crops twice a year over 50-70 years. Shallow rooted. Black sharp spikes sound the trunk.


Xiliang Chen/Christine Facella


“Bactris Gasipaes Var. Gasipaes | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 28, 2023.
“Bactris Gasipaes - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 28, 2023.
Facciola. S., ‘Cornucopia II’, Kampong Publications, California, 1998
Huxley. A., ‘The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992’, MacMillan Press, 1992
Image source: Chris

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