Basselinia velutina

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Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
velutina (veh-loo-TEE-nah)
Location: Colnett, New Caledonia.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
velutina (veh-loo-TEE-nah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Basselinia velutina was collected on the mainland in two geographically disjunct areas:
Location: Farino, New Caledonia.
the Northeast (Panié) and Central (Dogny - Katrikoin) New Caledonia. In dense, wet forest. Substrate: On ground more or less profound vulcano-sedimentary substrate.


Solitary palm from 12 - 15 m high, robust, with a trunk up to 22 cm in diam. at the base, topped with leaf scars neat internodes separated by 6 cm. Leaves 10 to 12 per crown, curved and spread of 2 to 3 m long regularly pinnate; sheath covered with a tomentum thick, dark brown or lilac, pink inside, from 0.60 to 1 m long with a long petiole 4 - 35 cm covered with a tomentum identical to the sheath. Phenology (flower): 1 to 4 inflorescences emerging under the leaves, green or scaly reddish-brown, much-branched erect or spreading. Fruit: Fruit longer than broad, thick, 11 x 9 mm, black when ripe, with lateral stigmatic residue. Trunk type: Bulging crownshaft, on mature specimens. Flower spathe emerges from beneath crownshaft. Very full erect leaves, diametrically opposed, evenly spaced pinnae. Very large, broad petiole. This elegant and rare palm forms a slender, smooth, brown trunk to about 15 m tall that holds a fairly dense crown of 10 to 12 distinctly and strongly arching, regularly and narrowly pinnate, keeled, light green leaves on short, winged stalks. The leaf bases form a prominent, densely furry, reddish brown to grayish crownshaft. The short-stalked inflorescence holds many drooping, finely hairy branches. Basselinia velutina is native to rainforests on acidic soils in southern central and northeastern New Caledonia below 1000 m. The high altitude plants on Mt. Panié once attributed to this species apparently are distinct and await description as a new species (see. Basselinia sp. "Moorei"). In cultivation it is only seen in a few enthusiasts' collections. It is best suited to tropical and some warm temperate climates. Editing by edric.


Requirements: Consistently moist soil, partial shade, full sun when mature. Not often found in cultivation.

Comments and Curiosities

External Links


All information, translated from the French, edric.

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).

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

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