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Acrocomia aculeata - (Jacq.) Lodd. ex Mart.

Common Name Coyoli Palm. Gru-Gru Palm, Macaw palm
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Barren lands and semi-deciduous, open forest[416 ]. Semideciduous forests, occurring in both dense primary and more open secondary formations, favouring fertile soils in valleys and on lower hill slopes[419 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Acrocomia aculeata Coyoli Palm. Gru-Gru Palm, Macaw palm

© 2006 Carla Antonini
Acrocomia aculeata Coyoli Palm. Gru-Gru Palm, Macaw palm
© 2006 Carla Antonini


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Acrocomia aculeata is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Acrocomia antiguana L.H.Bailey Acrocomia antioquiensis Posada-Ar. Acrocomia belizensis L.H.Bailey Acrocomia christopherensis L.H.Bailey Acrocomia chunta Covas & Ragonese Acrocomia cubensis Lodd. ex H.Wendl. Acrocomia erioacantha Barb.Rodr. Acrocomia fusiformis (Sw.) Sweet Acrocomia glaucophylla Drude Acrocomia globosa (Gaertn.) Lodd. ex Mart. Acrocomia grenadana L.H.Bailey Acrocomia guianensis Lodd. ex G.Don Acrocomia horrida Lodd. ex Mart. Acrocomia hospes L.H.Bailey Acrocomia ierensis L.H.Bailey Acrocomia intumescens Drude Acrocomia karukerana L.H.Bailey Acrocomia lasiospatha Mart. Acrocomia mexicana Karw. ex Mart. Acrocomia microcarpa Barb.Rodr. Acrocomia minor Lodd. ex G.Don Acrocomia mokayayba Barb.Rodr. Acrocomia odorata Barb.Rodr. Acrocomia panamensis L.H.Bailey Acrocomia pilosa León Acrocomia quisqueyana L.H.Bailey Acrocomia sclerocarpa Mart. Acrocomia sphaerocarpa Desf. Acrocomia spinosa (Mill.) H.E.Moore Acrocomia subinermis Leen ex L.H.Bailey Acrocomia tenuifrons Lodd. ex Mart. Acrocomia totai Mart. Acrocomia ulei Dammer Acrocomia viegasii L.H.Bailey Acrocomia vinifera Oerst. Acrocomia wallaceana (Drude) Becc. Acrocomia zapotecis Karw. ex H.Wendl. Astrocaryum sclerocarpum H.Wendl. Bactris globosa Gaertn. Bactris minor Gaertn. Bactris pavoniana Mart. Cocos aculeata Jacq. Cocos fusiformis Sw. Palma mocaia Aubl. Palma spinosa Mill.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Apical bud  Fruit  Inner bark  Leaves  Oil  Root  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

A starch can be obtained from the pith of the trunk and from the roots[297 , 419 ]. The pith of the trunk can be fermented to produce an alcoholic drink[297 ]. Fruit - cooked[297 ]. Rich in oil, it can be quite bitter[297 ]. The yellowish pulp is fibrous, mucilaginous and slightly sweet[416 ]. The sweet, pulpy portion of the fruit is eaten raw[301 ]. Eaten in times of scarcity[46 ]. Seed - roasted[317 ]. A high quality oil can be obtained from the seed kernel[297 ]. When refined it can be used for cooking[46 , 317 ]. Young leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[317 ]. The apical bud, known as a 'palm heart' is eaten[763 ]. If the apical bud is removed, then the tree is condemned to a slow death since it is unable to produce side branches[K ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The roots are used medicinally[317 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Agroforestry Uses: When growing wild, the plant is seen as an indicator of good, fertile soils[419 ]. Other Uses A useful twine can be obtained from the leaves by tearing strips of the desired width from the leaflets[297 ]. A good quality fibre is obtained from the leaves. Very strong, it is used to make ropes and cordage[454 ]. A high quality oil can be obtained from the seed kernel[297 ]. It can be used for making soap[46 ]. Another oil can be obtained from the pulp of the fruit[317 ]. It is used for making soap[317 ]. The very hard endocarp that encloses the seed can be cut into rings or carved and pierced for use as rosary beads[297 ]. It is also used for making jewellery and buttons[317 ]. The stem consists o a central pithy section surrounded by a ring of wood. This outer wood is moderately heavy, hard and very durable. It is used locally as beams and laths in rural constructions[419 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

A plant of semi-arid to very moist lowland regions of the tropics, where it is usually found below an elevation of 1,000 metres[297 , 418 ]. It grows best in areas where temperatures never fall below 10c, preferring a mean annual temperature in the range 25 - 35c, whilst tolerating 20 - 45c[418 ]. The mean annual rainfall it prefers is 1,000 - 2,000mm, though it can tolerate 500 - 3,000mm[418 ]. The driest month has 25mm or more rain[297 ]. Prefers a sunny position[419 ]. Requires a well-drained soil[297 ]. Prefers a rich soil, though it also succeeds in poor soils[300 , 418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, though it can tolerate from 5 - 7.5[418 ]. Established plants are drought tolerant[418 ]. Plants are fairly fire tolerant[418 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A low germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed taking more than a year to sprout[419 ]. Some people scarify the seed and then soak it in water for as long as several weeks in order to get it to germinate[297 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Acrocome, Amankayo, Bacaiuva, Coco-baboso, Corojo, Corozo, Coyol baboso, Coyoli palm, Coyolipalme, Gouglou, Glouglou, Macacauba, Macajuba, Macauba palm, Macauva, Map, Mbocaya, Mucaia, Mucaja, Mucajuba, Mucuja palm, Paraguay palm, Suppa palm, Totai, Tucuma, Ya cul

Africa, Amazon, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, East Africa, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guianas, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Myanmar, North America, Pacific, Paraguay, Philippines, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, South America, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, West Indies.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Jacq.) Lodd. ex Mart.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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