Home | Garden Plants | Herbs_and_Spices | Medical plants | Aromatic Plants | Tropical Coast Shores | Site Map | Links


Bactris gasipaes peach-palm Pejibaye Arecaceae

peach palm, Pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes

peach palm, Pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes

It is a palm which can typically grow to 20 m or taller, with pinnate leaves 3 m long on a 1 m long petiole. The fruit is a drupe with an edible pulp surrounding the single seed, 4–6 cm long and 3–5 cm broad. The rind (epicarp) of the wild palm's fruit can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe depending on the variety of the palm.
Uses and ecology
B. gasipaes is well known by the native population where it grows, and it has been used for centuries as food. The fruit is frequently stewed in salted water. However, it may be eaten raw, peeled and dressed with salt and honey, used to make compotes and jellies, or also used to make flour and edible oil.

Many species of birds feed on this wild palm, notably macaws, parrots and parakeets, all members of the family Psittacidae. Some of these are endemic species, which are in danger of extinction.

Because the huge importance of B. gasipaes for the native populations, there are numerous common names for this plant in several languages and many countries. For example, in English: peach-palm or pewa (Trinidad and Tobago), peyibay(e), and pejivalle; in Spanish: pejibaye (Costa Rica, Nicaragua), chontaduro or chantaduro, (Colombia, Ecuador), pijuayo (Peru), pijiguao (Venezuela), tembé (Bolivia), pixbae (pronounced pibá) (Panama), and in Portuguese: pupunheira, and pupunha (Brazil).

This plant may also be harvested for heart of palm, and has commercial advantages in being fast growing; the first harvest can be from 18 to 24 months after planting. In Brazil, it is a viable solution for the heart of palm cultivation industry because its agricultural characteristics are adequate for it to be beneficial to substitute it for other native palms such as species of Euterpe including Euterpe oleracea (known as açaí) and Euterpe edulis (known as juçara), that have been extensively exploited and are protected as endangered species. The Brazilian domestic market for heart of palm is about five times bigger than the external one; however, there is an increasing demand for this product internationally as it is increasingly used in international cookery. In addition, the cultivation of Bactris gasipaes is also economically important for Costa Rica.

Composition of 100 g of pulp
164 calories, 2.5 g of protein, 28 mg of calcium, 31 mg of phosphorus, 3.3 mg of iron, 1,500 mmg of vitamin A, 0.06 mg of vitamin B1 and 34 mg of vitamin C.

peach palm, Pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes peach palm, Pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes peach palm, Pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes