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Astrocaryum

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Astrocaryum
(Greek, asrron, star, and km-yon. nut; referring to star-like arrangement of the fruits). Pulrnziceze, tribe Cotolncw. Spiny palms, stemless or with a short caudex, or with a tall, ringed, spiny caudex: lvs. terminal, pinnately parted; segments ap proximate, equi-distant or fasciculate, lanceolate-acumi— nate or attenuate to the obliquely truncate apex, plicate, whitish beneath, the terminal ones free or confluent-, the spiny margins recurved at the base ; petiole very short; sheath short, open: spadices short or long, the flnely divided branches pendulous, thickened at the base, thence very slender, long, naked, the floriferous naked basal portion, as it were, pedunculate ; spathes 2, the lower one membranous, deciduous, the upper fusiform, coriaceous or woody, open on the ventral side, ersist ent ; bracts of the female fls. broad, imbricated, ike the bractlets; pistillate fls. with a stipitate male one on either side: fr. rather large, ovoid or subglobose, beaked, smooth or spiny, red or orange. Species 30. Trop ical America. Astrocaryums are elegant palms of medium height, very suitable for moderate sized conservatories. A. llurumuru, A. ./llearicanum and A.a1'genfeum are the kinds most commonly met with in collections. The lvs. are pinnate, and in small plants, at least in some of the species, the segments are narrow, four or five pairs of these alternating with two very broad ones. A. argum (emn has the under surfaces of the lvs. of a much lighter color than the others. In a young state, the plants require the temperature of the stove, and after attaining the height of a few feet they may be removed to a house where the temperature frequently falls as low as 45° F. Specimens 8-10 ft. high fruit freely. Prop. by seeds, which are slow in germinating. The soil in which they are sown should be changed occasionally, to prevent it from becoming sour. Be careful not to overpot, or the fleshy roots will decay. See Palms.

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