A clump-forming, small, water-loving, moderately fast growing, monoecious, forest understorey palm. Not known in cultivation, locally common in the wild. It has smooth, green stems, 2 m. (6.6 ft.) tall, 1.6 cm. (0.6 inch) diameter with spaced ring leaf scars, and small segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 0.56 m. (1.8 ft.) long, 1 m. (3.3 ft.) wide, green above and beneath.
This plant is suitable as a houseplant or conservatory plant.
Geonoma baculifera naturally occurs in wet and humid tropical rainforest. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly hot and humid climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. This palm will not tolerate cool for very long.
Stems clustered, rarely solitary 0.5-6.0 m; stem height 1.0-2.5 m; stem diameter 1.3-2.3 cm; internode length 1.4-9.3 cm; number of leaves per stem 6-11. Leaves irregularly pinnate with multi-veined pinnae, or undivided; sheath length 11.0-30 cm; petiole length 6.5-30 cm; rachis length 39.5-80 cm; rachis width 2.6-7.2 mm; number of leaf divisions per side of rachis 1-10; basal pinna length 42.0-72.0 cm; basal pinna width 6.7-33 cm; basal angle of pinna divergence 12-28°; apical pinna length 28.7(14.0-39.5) cm, CV 0.2, n = 39; apical pinna width 12.5-32.5 cm; apical angle of pinna divergence 20-35°. Inflorescences interfoliar or rarely infrafoliar; prophyll length 12.7-33; peduncular bract length 13.5-28 cm; distance between bract scars 1.3-7 cm; peduncle length 13.3-44.2 cm; peduncle width 2.1-8.4 mm; orders of inflorescence branching 1-2; rachilla length 4.0-31 cm; rachilla width 2.2-4.3 mm; number of rachillae 3-11; flower pits spirally arranged; fruit length 8.2-12.8 mm; fruit diameter 6.1-9.6 mm.
There is clinal variation in this species. Geonoma baculifera var. macrospatha is described from lowland Venezuela. Linear regression shows there are significant associations between elevation and various inflorescence size variables. These variables increase with increasing elevation.
Heimisch in, Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela
Also recorded in several isolated locations in Brazil, and may occur in N/E Colombia.