Lytocaryum itapebiensis

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: None known

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

Identification:
Stem subterranean ca. 8–9 × 2.5 cm, whole plant usually less than 60 cm tall, but varying from 35–65 cm. Leaves 4–11 in crown; sheathing leaf base ca. 8–11 cm long; true petiole 3–7 cm long and 0.5–0.6 cm wide by 0.4 cm thick, channelled adaxially and rounded abaxially, pseudopetiole (true petiole plus part of the sheath) 12–25 cm long; rachis 31–52 cm long; leaflets dark, shiny green, discolourous, abaxial surface with a silvery tomentum, leaflets numbering 21–26 along one side, regularly distributed along rachis in nearly a flat plane, ramenta scales or tomentum present lacking at the leaflet insertion on the rachis and none along the abaxial midvein; basal leaflets 10–13.5 cm long by 0.2–0.6 cm wide, middle leaflets 11–16 cm long and 1.2–1.9 cm wide, apical leaflets 5–7 cm long and 0.4–0.5 cm wide with an asymmetric tip and long drip tip. Inflorescence interfoliar; prophyll 4–8 cm × 1.3–1.5 cm; peduncular bract very narrow, thin, woody, slightly sulcate, exterior with scattered thin indumentum, total length 21–24 cm and usually with no expanded or inflated portion (Fig.13) (one exception measured 5–12 cm long including a 1 cm beak, 0.6 cm diameter and a 1.5 cm perimeter and a 0.5 mm thickness); peduncle glabrous ca. 32–66 cm long (much longer than the peduncular bract in fruit, see note below) and nearly round in cross-section with a 3 × 2.5 mm diameter, zig-zag rachis 2–4 cm long, with 4–6 glabrous primary branches lying in nearly the same plane (Fig. 14), with a total length of 7–9 cm from the first basal primary branch to the apex, 5–5.5 cm long at the apex, 6.5 cm long at the base; staminate flowers green to yellow, arranged in triads on the lower portion or in staminate dyads or singly on the upper portion of the primary branch, 4–4.5 mm long and 2 mm wide, sepals 3, 1.7–2.5 mm long and 1–1.5 mm wide, glabrous, with raised nerves, keeled and connate at the base; petals 3, valvate, 3.5–4 mm long and 2 mm wide with acute tips, nerves indistinct to slightly raised; stamens 6, 2–3 mm long, anthers 1.5–1.8 mm long, filaments 1–2 mm long; pistillode trifid, 1.8–2 mm long; basal pistillate flowers elongate conical, glabrous, 5 mm long and 3 mm wide (apical flowers 3 × 2 mm), sepals 3, green, imbricate 2.5–3 mm long and 3 mm wide; petals 3, glabrous, imbricate at the base but slightly valvate at the tips, 3–5 mm long and 3 mm wide, pistil glabrous, 4 mm long and 2 mm diam., stigmas 3 in number, and less than 0.5 mm long, but sitting above a stigmatic cap with a total length of 1.3–1.5 mm long including the stigma, glabrous; staminodial ring ca.1 mm high, 6-dentate. Fruit red or redorange when mature (Fig. 15), glabrous, conical, 1.2–1.5 cm long by 0.9–1.1 cm diam. with a 2–2.5 mm thick fleshy-fibrous mesocarp, composed of two layers, an outer red or orange fleshy part ca. 1.5 mm thick and an inner white fibrous layer ca. 0.8–1 mm thick and finally a very thin (less than 0.5 mm thick) endocarp; endocarp ca. 1.2–1.3 × 0.6–0.7 cm. with 3 visible pores on the basal end. Seed ellipsoidal, ca. 10–12 × 5–6 mm. H. Lorenzi, L. Noblick, et al.

General Information:
A new species recently described from Bahia (Itapebi) Brazil. It differers from all other Lytocaryum in not having an acaulescent stem, and having smaller none-schizocarpic fruit. So far the plant has only been found at around 300 m elevation. We do not know if the plant also occurs at higher elevation and therefore this species is probably less hardy than the other species.

Distribution:

Native to, Brazil


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