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The Licuri Palm, Syagrus coronata, is a species of palm tree that plays an important role in the diets of tropical rainforest animals. It is native to eastern Brazil, ranging from the southern part of the state of Pernambuco, into the state of Bahia, south to the Jequitinhonha River in the state of Minas Gerais.[2][3][4]

Characteristics

Licuri palms have a sparse amount of evergreen leaves and branches that can sometimes resemble that of a weeping willow. Adult trees can reach heights of 20–30 ft (6-9m) or more.[5] The blooms are bright yellow, and the plants bear fruit for most of the year.[4]

Hardiness

The plants are drought-hardy, and cold-tolerant to 25°F (-3.8°C).[5] They are known to be hardy in the U.S. states of California and Florida.[5]

Ecological Importance

Licuri palm nuts are the main food source of the Lear’s Macaw, making up around 95% of their diet.[6] These nuts can grow to be one inch (2.5 cm) in width

Threats

The destruction of small seedlings by cattle poses a threat to the plants, primarily through the destruction of concentrated groves.[4] Those groves are vital to the Lear’s Macaw.[4]

Written on February 21st, 2012 , Botany Tags:

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