Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 303, Issue 2, pp 233–248 | Cite as

Leaf anatomy of Acrocomia (Arecaceae): an additional contribution to the taxonomic resolution of a genus with great economic potential

  • Suelen A. Vianna
  • Sandra M. Carmelo-Guerreiro
  • Larry R. Noblick
  • Carlos A. Colombo
Original Article


Acrocomia is one of the most complex genera to understand in the Neotropical Arecaceae, and there is no consensus on the number of species in the genus. A comparative study of leaf anatomy was conducted on seven species of Acrocomia: one with a wide distribution in the Americas (A. aculeata), five endemic to different regions of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay (A. emensis, A. glaucescens, A. hassleri, A. intumescens and A. totai) and one endemic to Cuba (A. crispa). Characters that unify the species of Acrocomia include the following: epidermis covered with cuticle, hypodermis on both sides of the leaflets, non-vascular fiber bundles, and primary and secondary vascular bundles. The shape of the leaflet margin, the distribution of the primary vascular bundles and fiber bundles, the number of idioblasts with raphides and the size of the vascular bundles, along with other characteristics, were used to distinguish these species in Acrocomia.


Arecoideae Bactridinae Belly palm Bocaiúva Macaíba Macaúba 



We acknowledge the Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for funding the project and the scholarship of the first author. We thank the Instituto Plantarum for the collection of botanical material in their garden, the Montgomery Botanical Center for financial and technical support, permission to collect from their living collection of palms and for use of their garden facilities. To the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTG) for the use of their plant anatomy laboratory and for samples of their herbarium specimens. We thank the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) for the use of their laboratory and Dr. Luis Carlos Bernacci (Herbarium IAC) for assistance in the preparation of the species identification key.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suelen A. Vianna
    • 1
  • Sandra M. Carmelo-Guerreiro
    • 2
  • Larry R. Noblick
    • 3
  • Carlos A. Colombo
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC) – Centro de Recursos Genéticos VegetaisCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia VegetalUniversidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) – Instituto de BiologiaCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC)MiamiUSA

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