Economic Botany

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 233–240 | Cite as

The ethnobotany ofCarludovica palmata Ruíz & Pavón (Cyclanthaceae) in Amazonian Ecuador

  • B. C. Bennett
  • R. Alarcón
  • C. Cerón


All of Ecuador’s indigenous Amazonian people use Carludovica palmata Ruíz & Pavón. The most frequent use is for roof thatching. Fibers from the petiole also are used to make baskets and to tie small timbers. The Shuar, Achuar and Quichua make mammal and fish traps from the petiole. The bases of unopened leaf buds and the fruits are edible. The buds have a taste similar to palm hearts. Carludovica palmata grows in open, disturbed sites often in alluvial soil. Ecuador’s indigenous people often protect the plant when clearing fields. They also intentionally plant it. The commercial use of its buds for food and the marketing of native crafts made from C. palmata could rival the plant’s importance in the Panama hat industry.

Key Words

palm leaf buds Panama hat palm Quichua ethnobotany Shuar ethnobotany thatching 


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Copyright information

© New York Botanical Garden 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. C. Bennett
    • 1
  • R. Alarcón
    • 2
  • C. Cerón
    • 3
  1. 1.New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Economic BotanyBronx
  2. 2.Ecociencia: Fundación Ecuatoriana de Estudios EcológicosQuitoEcuador
  3. 3.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidad CentralQuitoEcuador

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