Asterogyne spicata, sometimes called the Palmito Palm, is a species of flowering plant in the Arecaceae (palm) family. It is found only in Venezuela, in Guatopo National Park in the state of Miranda at about 500-600 meters elevation.
A palm tree of lowland rainforest, this threatened species listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Increasing settlement has caused habitat losses in some areas.
Asterogyne spicata is an elegant, small, solitary palm with fish-tail like leaves. In the forest, one can see grown-up individuals of up to 8 meters high. The first young leaf is frequently red colored. The local name in Venezuela is “palmiche” and the dark red ovoid fruits are edible (the endocarp has a sweet acid taste). The coloration is sometimes so vivid that from a distance the plants seem to be in flower.
There is one specimen of this tree growing in the Merwin Palm Collection.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the world-renowned Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.