Aiphanes eggersii

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Aiphanes (ah-ee-FAHN-ehz)
eggersii (ehg-JEHR-see)
Aiphanes Eggersii-2.JPG
Scientific Classification
Genus: Aiphanes (ah-ee-FAHN-ehz)
eggersii (ehg-JEHR-see)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to the dry forest zone in W Ecuador and adjacent NW Peru.
The natural habitat is semi-deciduous, dry Ceiba forest, but it is often found in pastures or sometimes planted near houses. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)/Palmweb.


Caespitose, with up to 10 stems, each 1-6 m tall, 7-8 cm diam., light grey, armed with black or grey, flat, to 10 cm long spines at the internodes. Leaves 7-10, erect and arching, older leaves recurving; sheath 40-75 cm long, with a thick, white tomentum, armed with black or grey, flat spines, to 10 cm long; petiole 0-10 cm long, similar to the sheath; rachis 115-205 cm long, with a white, caducous tomentum, armed with many black spines, to 5 cm long; pinnae (30-)50-65 per side, inserted in groups of (2-)4- 10(-14), in different planes, groups occupying 10-20 cm along the rachis, separated by 7-12 cm, pinnae narrowly trumpet-shaped, abruptly widening near apex, 3-7 times as long as wide, inrolled in vivo, irregularly praemorse at apex, glabrous or spinulose on both sides, adaxially often with a row of slender spines on the midrib, abaxially with 1 to several black spines basally on the midrib; basal pinnae 13-34 x 0.5-3 cm; middle pinnae 20-45 x 4-9 cm; apical pinnae 6-8 ribbed, 14-22 x 10-17 cm. Inflorescence erect or curving, pendulous in fruit, branched to 1 order; prophyll, peduncular bract, and peduncle with a thick white indument; prophyll 19-45 cm long, 3-6 cm wide; peduncular bract inserted 5-23 cm above prophyll, 80-145 cm long, 6-10 cm wide, woody, almost unarmed to densely armed; peduncle 42-137 cm long, 6-15 mm diam. at junction with rachis, densely armed with black spines, to 2 cm long; rachis 35-48 cm long, unarmed or basally armed like the peduncle; rachillae 35-75, unarmed, with a sparse, peltate indument; basal rachillae 20-35 cm long, with triads for ½ of their length, staminate distally; apical rachillae 5-10 cm long, staminate; each flower group subtended by a minute, inconspicuous bract. Staminate flowers yellow, superficial; sepals 1-2 mm long, never exceeding ?4 of the petals; petals 3-3.5 mm long; filaments 1-1.5 mm long, anthers 1.2-1.8 mm long, 0.8-1.1 mm wide; pistillode ca. 0.5 mm high, trifid. Pistillate flowers yellow with brown sepals, sunken into shallow pits in the rachillae; sepals ovate, 2.5- 3 mm long; petals connate for half their length, valvate distally, acute, ca. 4 mm long, opening to ca. 45° at anthesis; staminodial cup ca. 3 mm high, acuminately lobed to nearly truncate; pistil glabrous. Fruits bright red, globose, 18-20 mm diam.; endocarp 13-14 mm diam., shallowly pitted. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Closely related to Aiphanes aculeata, but different in its more numerous, narrower pinnae, and clustered habit. Aiphanes eggersii is closely related to A. acuieata from which it can be distinguished by its caespitose habit and its more numerous, narrower pinnae. Its leaf anatomy is very characteristic in that the non-vascualar fibers are arranged in a single layer of very thick bundles, a pattern otherwise found only in some specimens of A. lindeniana. The holotype of A. eggersii in B consists of a single staminate flower. The isotypes include only leaf fragments. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador

Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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