the anatomy of the pericarp of the macaw palm (acrocomia aculeata) was followed during development. ovaries of flowers collected at anthesis of the bracts as well as pericarps were evaluated at different development phases using traditional plant anatomy techniques. the ovary wall has two meristematic regions, one adjacent to the external epidermis and the other surrounding the seminal cavity. the external meristematic region gives rise to the woody exocarp, and the internal meristematic region is responsible for thickening of the oily/fibrous mesocarp as well as the hard endocarp. sclerification of the exocarp and endocarp occurs approximately 70 days after anthesis and defines the final fruit volume. lignification of the exocarp cell layers is incomplete, lending porosity to the structure. numerous canals develop in the mesocarp that are formed by the fusion of raphide-containing idioblasts. lignification of the sclereids and their generally random arrangement confers impermeability and rigidity to the endocarp. in mature fruits, lipidic reserves are observed in parenchymatic cells of the mesocarp, and the germination pore in the endocarp is composed of parenchymatic cells.