Leitura: 3 min

Macaúba Palm and its fruit

Macaúba Palm and its fruit

Inhotim is known for gathering one of the largest palm tree collections in the world, currently with over 700 species from several different places. Among these species is the macaúba palm (Acrocomia aculeata). The species is native to Brazil and its history at the park is quite interesting. In 2012, about 80 specimens were incorporated into the botanical garden by way of a major rescuing action carried out at a mining area near the Institute. Even though the cutting down of these specimens was environmentally authorized, they were saved and incorporated into the Institute’s landscape project.

Also known as bocaiúva palm or coyol palm, the macaúba palm is found practically everywhere in Brazil and pretty much everything in the plant can be used. The pulp from its fruit is used to produce flour. Rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, it can be used in juices, ice-cream, cake, bread and sweets. The leaves can be used to make fishing nets and lines. The wood, on the other hand, is used in houses and other constructions. In addition, soap, margarine and cosmetics are made with the oil extracted from the macaúba seed.

A imponente da palmeira macaúba. Foto: Rossana Magri

The imponent Macaúba Palm. Photo: Rossana Magri

Brazil currently conducts studies with macaúba focused on the production of biodiesel, a fuel made from vegetable oils. As they realize the potential of this species, scientists have been more and more enthusiastic about the results obtained in these studies. By the end of 2014 Inhotim will begin studies on the spreading of this palm tree, as seed dormancy breaking outside its natural environment is rare and little known.

Do you want to learn a bit more about Inhotim Botanical Garden and about the macaúba palm?  Then click here and watch the video.

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