Wallaceodoxa raja-ampat

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: Gulbotom Palm

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

Identification:
Solitary palm. Stem up to 30 m tall, 9 - 30 cm diam.; internodes with nodal scars inconspicuous, whitish brown. Leaves 11 - 19 in crown, 275 - 410 cm long including petiole; sheath tubular, 76 - 115 cm long and 16 - 30 cm wide, tapering to 10 cm wide; crownshaft 100 - 150 cm long; petiole 28 - 50 cm long, 2.5 - 3.5 cm wide and 1 - 1.5 cm thick at the base; leaflets 50 - 85 on each side of the rachis; basal leaflets 41 - 60 cm long, 0.5 - 2.5 cm wide, middle leaflets 70 - 114 cm long, 1 - 4.5 cm wide, apical leaflets 32 - 40 cm long, 0.5 - 1.5 cm wide. Inflorescence 50 - 100 cm long and 75 - 80 cm wide at anthesis; peduncle 15 - 20 cm long, 4 - 6 cm wide; prophyll 50 - 60 x 7 - 12 cm; peduncular bract similar to prophyll; primary branches up to 27 (including terminal rachilla), 33 - 50 cm long, 0.5 - 2.5 cm between branches; rachillae numerous, 11 - 18 cm long, 12 - 15 floral triads per 5 cm length of rachilla. Staminate flowers 7 - 7.5 x 2.5 - 4 mm in bud near anthesis, whitish cream to greenish white; sepals 3, free, 3.2 - 3.5 x 2.5 - 3 mm; petals 3, united at the base, 6 - 6.3 x 3 - 3.5 mm; stamens 58 - 64, 3.5 - 5 mm long; filaments 2.5 - 3 x 0.3 - 0.4 mm, white; anthers 2 - 2.5 x 0.5 - 0.75 mm; pistillode 1 - 2 x 0.9 - 1.2 mm, 2 - 3 lobes, c. 0.5 mm deep, c. 0.3 wide, cream to brown. Pistillate flowers 5 - 6 x 3.5 - 4 mm near anthesis, cream to light green; sepals 3.3 - 5 x 3.5 - 7 mm; petals 5 x 6 mm, light green; staminodes 5 - 7, 0.4 - 1 x 0.2 - 0.3 mm; gynoecium 4 - 4.5 x 1.5 mm including stigma; ovule c. 1.5 x 0.8 mm. Fruit 17.5 - 20 x 10 - 12 mm, light green and turning yellow, orange and red when mature; pericarp c. 1 mm thick. Seed 10 - 12 x 9 - 9.5 mm; embryo 1.5 - 2.75 x 1 - 1.75 mm.

General Information:
Distinguished from other genera of subtribe Ptychospermatinae (tribe Areceae) by its moderately robust, solitary habit, arching leaves, thick, white, lanate indumentum interspersed with large, brown-black twisted hairs on sheath, petiole and rachis, narrowly linear lanceolate pendulous leaflets with obliquely praemorse apices, white inflorescence axes, thick rachillae with rather crowded triads, short, irregularly ellipsoidal pistillode and rounded, straw-coloured endocarp with adherent, longitudinal fibres. Wallaceodoxa has been resolved as sister to Adonidia (Alapetite et al. 2014), but differs markedly from this species in the indumentum (thin grey indumentum in Adonidia), drooping leaflets in one plane with praemorse apices (ascending leaflets with acute bifid apices in Adonidia), the thick, congested rachillae (more slender with more widely spaced triads in Adonidia), the staminate flowers with 58 - 64 stamens (45 - 50 in A. merrillii) and the ellipsoid pistillode (lageniform in Adonidia).

Distribution:

Native to, Indonesia

Critically Endangered. Only known from two of the Raja Ampat islands, Gag Island and Waigeo Island, off the western end of mainland New Guinea. West Papua Province, Raja Ampat Islands Regency: Gag Island, limestone forest near airstrip, 00°24’00.0"S 129°53’15.0"E; Gag Island, Kali Kablebet, 00°24’44.3"S 129°53’48.2"E; Waigeo Island, Waisai, Kelurahan Warmasen, behind Kantor Bupati, forest on right side of road to Pari Convention Centre Building (tanjakan gedung Pari). This palm has been recorded in lowland forest on limestone up to 50 m elevation. It has primarily been found in secondary and heavily disturbed forest, and old gardens, where it appears to grow as a relict from times when the forest was not disturbed. It is often found association with Areca macrocalyx Zipp. ex Blume, Calamus species, Heterospathe elata Scheff. and Licuala species.

Location: Indonesia (-0.445903°N, 129.880371°E)

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


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