A solitary, short, drought tolerant, alkaline soil tolerant, moderately fast growing, monoecious palm. Not known in cultivation, scarce in the wild. It has a subterranean, grey trunk, 0.3 m. (1 ft.) tall, 20.3 cm. (8 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and large segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 0.9 m. (3 ft.) long, 0.3 m. (1 ft.) wide, green above and beneath.
A rare species, small and unassuming in the landscape with a short subterranean trunk, with a few spiny leaves, each of which is 60-90 cm long and grass-like due to the minimal leaflets which are, themselves grass-like, and not plumose like A. aculeata. Trunk, leaflets, rachis, and petiole are sparingly armed with 1 cm black spines. Not known in cultivation, and not at all attractive. However, this species is no doubt the cold hardiest Acrocomia.
Acrocomia hassleri can tolerate freezing temperatures to about -6.5°C (20.3°F). However, this is not a norm., and ideally you should not try to subject this palm to these temperatures. This is a species from dry grassland savannahs, open forests, or low montane environments, it should be grown in open sunny positions. You can try growing it in an understory position under a tree canopy to help protect the palm from serious cold, but we advise a south-facing position where the palm can catch as much of the winter sunshine as is possible.
Stems short and subterranean. Leaves 2-6, grasslike, leaflets linear, irregularly arranged, and loosely spreading. Inflorescences borne at ground level, among the leaves; flowering branches 5-15; fruits subglobose, 1.5-3 cm diameter, brown, minutely bristly.
Formerly placed in its own genus, Acanthocos (Hahn, 1991).
Native to, Brazil, Paraguay
Naturally occurs in Southern Brazil and Paraguay. A good type location has to be Mbaracayú, Natural Reserve Administered By Fundación Moisés Bertoni: Aguará-Ñú-horqueta Mi. Cerrado Scrub and forest on Red Sandy Soil. Canendiyu, Paraguay.