Palma de la Virgen, palmita (Gentry 1942).
"A tolerant plant, adapted to pockets of rich soil and equable temperature. The trunk rarely rises 30 cm above the ground, the whole making a plant 1 m or so high with the numerously pinnate leaves approaching 1 m in length. The collections add a new plant to the Sonora flora and one which may also be new to science. A plant was observed in cultivation at La Colorada mine near Hermosillo, Sonora, which was said to have been brought thither from Mazatan in eastern central Sonora. When the plant is transplanted from its native habitat, the leaves, so far as is known, invariably die, but after the thick stalk has re-established itself new leaves appear... The large, cone-shaped, hairy fruits, 20-25 cm long and 15 cm in diameter, were found on several plants near Guirocoba in October. They are borne at the base of the leaf whorl and lie on the ground still attached to the stem by a short petiole. The fruits soon divide into pieces with handling" (Gentry 1942).
Mexico: Sonora, Oaxaca; in the barrancas; type locality Cañon Tomellin, Oaxaca; on bottoms or gentle slopes in the short-tree forest and lower oak forest, at 1500-3000 feet (457-914 m) (Gentry 1942).
"In Guirocoba the natives regard the seeds as of medicinal value in treating sore eyes. After the seeds are finely ground, a paste is made and inserted in the eye" (Gentry 1942).
Last Modified 2012-11-28