Eremospatha cuspidata

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: None known

Cold Hardiness Zone: 11     View the UK and US zone maps

Identification:
Clustered slender palm climbing to 12-15m. Stems circular in cross-section, without sheaths, 10-15 mm in diameter, with 16-25 mm; internodes 11-15 cm long. Leaf sheath longitudinally striate sparsely covered with brown-black indumentum; ocrea obliquely truncate, extending ca. 1 cm above the rachis; knee absent. Leaves sessile, up to 2 m long; rachis 1-1.3 m long, flattened on upper surface, rounded below, becoming trapezoid then rounded in cross section distally, armed along the margins with inequidistant, reflexed, bulbous-based spines, becoming sparsely armed distally, indumentum absent; cirrus 50-75 cm long, unarmed; leaflets up to 15-20 on each side of the rachis, linear-lanceolate, abruptly contracted at the base, with a fine 0.8-1.2 cm long (rarely 3 cm long) apiculum at the apex, 22-30 cm long by 1.6-2 (rarely 3 cm) broad at the widest point, discolorous, adaxially mid-green, abaxially light green, armed along the margins with inequidistant abrupt black-tipped spines, 5-7 moderately conspicuous transverse veinlets 2-3 mm apart; lowermost leaflets smaller than the rest, linear-ovate, reflexed and laxly swept back across stem; acanthophylls in pairs ca. 3 cm long, at 45° angle to cirrus. Inflorescence glabrous, 30-38 cm long, rarely up to 20 cm, peduncle 10-18 cm long; rachis 20-30 cm, rarely up to 20 cm, erect or horizontal; rachillae distichous, 10-12 on each side, 5-10-12 cm long, decreasing distally; rachis bracts acuminate up to 3 mm long, decreasing distally, adnate to the inflorescence axis for 1-1.2 cm; flower cluster subtended by up to 1 mm long incomplete bracts. Flowers borne in close pairs, very sweetly scented at anthesis; calyx 4-5 mm by 6 mm wide at the mouth, only very shallowly lobed (up to 1 mm); corolla 0.7-1 cm by 0.4-0.5 mm, divided to quarter of its length; stamens united into 4-6 mm long epipetalous ring; free filaments up to 0.5 mm; anthers up to 1 mm; ovary 3-4 mm by 2.2.5 mm tipped by ca. 2.5 mm long style. Fruit at maturity 1-seeded, ± cylindrical, 2-2.4 cm by 1.6-2 cm with 18-21 rows of vertical scales. Seed compressed, 1.6-2 cm long by 0.8-1 cm wide by 0.6-0.8 cm deep, flattened on one side with a shallow linear depression, embryo lateral, raised, opposite the flattened side.

General Information:
Eremospatha cuspidata is highly unusual amongst the rattans of African in that it is commonly found in the deep white sand savannah areas or 'praderas', characteristic of the coastal forests of the Congo Basin where it forms dense, scrambling thickets. However, in some areas, E. cuspidata has also been encountered in gap vegetation in forest.

Distribution:

Native to, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon

This species is relatively uncommon and is restricted to the forest areas of the Congo Basin.

Location: Central Africa (-1.532044°N, 9.667969°E)

Observations
Map may not represent the complete natural distribution. (Markers display observation data).
Eremospatha cuspidata Overlay Image ©2017 Trebrown - No re-distribution without permission.


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