Aiphanes hirsuta Burret

First published in Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 573 (1932)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Costa Rica to NW. Ecuador. It is a tree and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. It is used for food.


Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia.

cirquí, corocito de monte, corozo de monte

From Panama and along the western slopes of Cordillera Occidental in Colombia to north-western Ecuador, reaching into the northern and eastern slopes of Cordillera Central in the department of Antioquia in northwestern Colombia.
General Description
Caespitose, with 1-8(-20) stems, each (2-)3-10 m tall, 2.5- 10 cm diam., armed with black spines, to 12(-25) cm long, distal half of stem rarely covered with persistent old leaf sheaths. Leaves 4-8, erect and arching; sheath 20-90 cm long, covered with brown spines, to 12 cm long; petiole 9-100 cm long, green, unarmed to densely armed with spinules and spines simiIar to those on sheath; rachis 86-194 cm long. with a grey to brown, scaly, caducous indument, unarmed to densely covered with black spinules, sometimes with many brown to black spines, to 4 cm long; pinnae 9-40 per side, inserted in dense to lax groups of (1-)2-9 separated by 5-21 cm, in one plane or more often in different planes, more or less rigid, weakly to strongly plicate, linear to broadly cuneate. 1-14 times as long as wide, truncate to lobulate praemorse, or occasionally slightly incised praemorse at apex, with a 1-6 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, adaxial side glabrous, abaxial side rough, or both sides sparsely to densely covered with up to 5 mm long, yellow spinules; basal pinnae 17.5-45 x 1- 13 cm; middle pinnae 11-65 x 5-22 cm; apical pinnae 22-45 x 7-32 cm. Inflorescence erect or more often curving, branched to 1 order; prophyll 25-52 cm long. 1.5-4.5 cm wide; peduncular bract 70-133 cm long. 2.5-12 cm wide, with a brown, scaly, caducous indument, often covered with brown to black spinules, sometimes armed with brown to violet spines, to 2 cm long; peduncle (21-)43- 170 cm long, 2-9 mm diam. at junction with rachis, minutely spinulose or sparsely to very densely armed with numerous short spinules and brown spines, to 3(-5) cm long; rachis 17-100 cm long, unarmed or armed like peduncle, spines fewer and shorter distally; rachillae 9-100, white to light brown at anthesis, densely covered with light brown, purple or black spinules, minute or to 2.5 mm long; basal rachillae 23-90 cm long, sometimes with an up to 18 cm long flowerless part, with triads for ½-? of the remaining length, in this part 2-5 mm diam. at anthesis, often thicker in fruit, distally ca. 1-2 mm in diam., with staminate dyads; apical rachillae 11-40 cm long, staminate or in inflorescences with <30 rachillae often with a few triads at base; fruiting rachillae occasionally very thick and fastigiate; triads inserted in shallow depressions in the rachillae, subtended by a short rim-like bract covering the pistillate flower for ca. ? of its length; dyads slightly sunken, subtended by an up to 1 mm long narrow bract. Staminate flowers 1.5-3.4 mm long, purple to white, sometimes yellow in the center, with white to yellow anthers; sepals narrowly triangular, imbricate, keeled, 1- 3 mm long; petals almost free or basally connate, valvate, ovate to oblong, 2-3 mm long; filaments 0.7-1 mm long; anthers nearly square to linear, 0.5-1.2 x 0.4- 0.7 mm; pistillode 0.5-1 mm high, trifid. Pistillate flowers brown to violet, 3-7 mm long; sepals rounded to broadly ovate, almost enclosing the petals before anthesis, 4-6 mm long, often with scattered minute spinules adaxially; petals connate for ?-½ of their length, valvate distally, 3-8 mm long, basally with minute, pale, or yellowish spinules abaxially, lobes triangular, rounded-acute to acuminate, spreading to recurved at anthesis; staminodial cup 2-5 mm high, acutely lobed to nearly truncate, basal half adnate to corolla tube, distal part appressed to the pistil; pistil 3-7 mm high , glabrous, or more often spinulose especially at base. Fruits dark red to purple, or occasionally white, globose, 7-20 mm in diam., sometimes shortly rostrate, glabrous or with many minute, black spinules; endocarp 6-18 mm diam., small endocarps finely pitted, especially distally, larger ones deeply pitted, sometimes longitudinally grooved and 3-lobed in x.s., more rarely without pits; seed globose to very irregular.
An understory element in premontane or montane rain forest, between 600 and 2200 m, but it has also been recorded from lowland areas in northwestern Colombia at 100 m.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

LC - least concern

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 100 - 2200 m.; Andes, Pacífico.
Morphology General Habit
Arbusto, palma cespitosa
Casi Amenazada

Biogeografic region: Andean, Pacific. Elevation range: 100–2200 m a.s.l. Native to Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño, Risaralda, Valle del Cauca.
Shrub, Caespitose palm.
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC. National Red List of Colombia (2021): NT.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, shrubland, artificial - terrestrial.


Use Food
Used for food.


  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

    • Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
    • Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia