Basselinia humboldtiana

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Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
humboldtiana
(huhm-bolt-ee-AHN-ah)
GBPIX photo 340568z.jpg
New Caledonia, photo by Ben, edric.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
Species:
humboldtiana
(huhm-bolt-ee-AHN-ah)
Synonyms
Cyphokentia humboldtiana.
Native Continent
Oceania
Oceania.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
None.

Habitat and Distribution

Basselinia humboldtiana is endemic, to New Caledonia.
Location: Summit of the western basin, of the upper Blue River boundary with Mount. Sources. Alt. 1050 m.
This species is found in the South of the Mainland: at Mt Humboldt and the Mount of Sources. Habitat: In rain forest on steep slopes. Substrate: On bedrock or boulders on ultramafic substrate.

Description

Solitary palm up to 15m high with a trunk 10 cm in diameter, covered with prominent leaf scars. About 8 leaves, erect and then spread with a short petiole 5-7 cm long, hollow above, rounded below, lined with feathers leathery, sheath 50 cm long, dark green, scaly gray-brown outside, yellowish with brownish scales up inside. Phenology (flower) 2-5 inflorescences significantly under leaves, horizontal with the ends dangling, green or reddish towards the base; many ramifications .. fruits Fruit obovoid, 10 x 8 mm, dark brown at maturity, with the residue in position subapical stigmatic. Trunk type: crownshaft, flower spathe, emerges from beneath crownshaft. Growth rate: slow. Stiff erect leaves, diametrically opposed, evenly spaced pinnae. One of the most stunning palms of New Caledonia, this medium-sized palm forms a slender, solitary trunk to about 45 ft. tall, topped by a breathtaking, compact, swollen crownshaft that is thickly covered in dense bright silvery felt and holds a dense crown of eight nearly stalkless, ascending, somewhat arching and keeled leaves with wide, stiff leaflets. The large inflorescences are borne below the crownshaft and have numerous, drooping branchlets that hold small, round fruit. It is known only from low cloud forest on serpentine soils between 800 and 1000 m (2600 and 3300 ft.) on a few mountains in the southern half of New Caledonia. Only a handful of small plants exist in cultivation as ripe fruits have been nearly impossible to find. It will adapt to most warm temperate and tropical climates and do well under the same conditions as most New Caledonia palms. Editing by edric.

Culture

Requires consistently moist soil, partial shade until mature. Rare in cultivation.

Comments and Curiosities

One of the most stunning palms of New Caledonia, this medium-sized palm forms a slender, solitary trunk to about 9 m (30 ft.) tall, topped by a breathtaking, compact, swollen crownshaft that is thickly covered in dense bright silvery felt and holds a dense crown of eight nearly stalkless, ascending, somewhat arching and keeled leaves with wide, stiff leaflets. The large inflorescences are borne below the crownshaft and have numerous, drooping branchlets that hold small, round fruit. It is known only from low cloud forest on serpentine soils between 800 and 1000 m (2600 and 3300 ft.) on a few mountains in the southern half of New Caledonia. Only a handful of small plants exist in cultivation as ripe fruits have been nearly impossible to find. It will adapt to most warm temperate and tropical climates and do well under the same conditions as most New Caledonia palms. (RPS.com), edric.


External Links

References

Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, 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).


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

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