Calamus meghalayensis

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: None known

Scientific Synonymy:
Calamus floribundus var. depauperatus

Common Synonymy:
risigin, tairu, rita (India)

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a     View the UK and US zone maps

Identification:
Stems to 2 m long and 0.5-0.6 cm diameter (with leaf sheaths). Leaf sheaths green with brown tomentum, sparsely covered with brown, flattened, horizontally spreading spines to 1 cm long; knees present; ocreas present, less than 0.5 cm long, densely bristly; flagella present, to 2 m long; petioles 6-18 cm long, sparsely covered laterally and abaxially with recurved spines to 0.5 cm long; rachis 9-24 cm long, abaxially with few, recurved, solitary spines; pinnae 4-5 per side of rachis, lanceolate, arranged in distant groups or solitary, 13-23 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, minutely spiny along the margins, the apical pair free or briefly joined at their bases; cirri absent. Inflorescences to 1 m long, flagellate; partial inflorescences inserted above the mouth of the partial inflorescence bracts; partial inflorescence bracts closely sheathing the main axis, with recurved spines, bristly at the apex; staminate inflorescences branched to two orders, with up to 3 partial inflorescences; rachillae 0.5-1 cm long; rachillae bracts distichously arranged, to 1 mm long, more or less glabrous; floral bracteoles to 0.5 mm long; staminate flowers to 2 mm long, to 20 per rachilla, arranged alternately and distichously along the rachillae; calyx 1.5 mm long, tubular except for the 3-lobed apex; corolla 2 mm long, with 3 valvate petals free to the base; pistillode 1 mm long; pistillate inflorescences branched to two orders, with up to three partial inflorescences, each with up to 12 rachillae; rachillae 1-2.5 cm long; rachillae bracts distichously arranged, to 2.5 mm long, with brown hairs; pistillate flowers to 20 per rachilla, borne alternately and distichously along the rachillae; sepals to 3 mm long, connate basally for ca. two-thirds their length, lobed above; petals to 3 mm long, free; fruits not seen, according to Basu (1992) globose, to 1 cm diameter, yellowish.

General Information:
Notes: Although the type specimen has not been seen, Beccari’s (1908) description and photograph (Beccari, 1913, plate 48) of C. Clarke s. n. shows it to be clearly distinct from C. floribundus, as suggested by Beccari himself (1908). Not only is it smaller in all dimensions, but the leaf sheath spines are quite different from those of C. floribundus. The name C. meghalayensis is given here because the eipthet depauperatus is preoccupied.

Distribution:

Native to, India

Northeastern India (Meghalaya) lowland forest at low elevations in the Khasi Hills.

Location: Assam India (25.746466°N, 91.494141°E)

Observations
Map may not represent the complete natural distribution. (Markers display observation data).


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