Friday, January 05, 2007

Carnauba fruits (Copernecia cerifera)

The fruit of the centenary carnauba palm located at the Regional Secretariat of Health (SESPA) across the street from Praça São Sebastião are now falling and I was fortunate to receive 15 of them this week, via one of the employees. I understand from my wife, Áurea, that many people are on the lookout for these seeds because the palm is relatively rare in the Santarém area. Seedlings fetch a nice price of R$ 15,00 (about $6.50 each). The image posted below is a young palm germinated from a seed I planted about three years ago. I am always astounded at how fast the fruit changes colors once it matures. Way up there in the palm, about 40 meters high, they are a bright orange/red color. They might attract a lot of attention but they are up so high up, few see them. Notice that the pulp covering two of the seeds has been eaten away, probably by bats.

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