Bactris gasipaes

Orden: Order: Arecales

Familia: Family: Arecaceae

Género: Genus: Bactris

Especie: Species: Gasipaes

Nombres comunes: Common names: Chontaduro, chocarrás, chonta palmito, pupuña.

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Leaf

Color: Green

Chontaduro pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm

Herbarium. Dried Chontaduro leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013.

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Chontaduro leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.



Chontaduro. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

Palm with straight and prickly stem that may reach up to twenty meters in height. The leaves are pinnate (arranged symmetrically, nine to twenty per palm), lush-looking, with spikes, and grouped at the top. Its small, white flowers are accompanied by a large, prickly pod. The fruits, arranged in clusters, are oval, deep red and ordinarily have a single seed.

Chontaduro. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Originally found across tropical America, from Nicaragua to Brazil and Bolivia. It is mainly found in warm climates and along the foothills of mountain ranges, around non-floodable wet areas, growing well in different environments.

Chontaduro pigment manual extraction. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.



Chontaduro is widely used and planted by indigenous communities. Its fruits are high in nutritional value: contains protein, phosphorus, vitamins A, B, and C, iron and calcium, among others. The fruit can be eaten and used in a variety of ways and recipes. The flowers and the palm are also edible and its timber is used for various purposes.



The chontaduro provides a green pigment when its leaflets are macerated. This is a very popular plant that can be found easily. Its pigment sets very well on paper, but not on fique (natural fiber); and on cotton it generates a low-intensity, pale green. It does not require exposure to fire to bind to the supports used.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing