Calyptrocalyx polyphyllus

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polyphyllus (pahl-ee-FILL-lûs)
Photo by I. Tortike.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Calyptrocalyx
polyphyllus (pahl-ee-FILL-lûs)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Flame palm, Giagiau palm, or Peliah palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Calyptrocalyx polyphyllus was found by a European explorer, on the island of New Guinea,
photo by H. Robert Wilson.
on a swiss expeditionary, Karl Lederman mapped the Sepik River (then known as Kaiser fluss) in Eastern New Guinea (now known as the nation, Papua New Guinea) and its many tributaries.

Whilst surveying one such river, which was later named April River (to commemorate the month of this particular expedition in 1912-13 ) he traversed a section of the Hunstein Mountain Range, and presumably came across this palm species and added it to his botanical collections, it also occurs in neighbouring ranges, especially Waskuk Hills and an isolated population (in respect to its distance from Hunstein Ranges) in the Torricelli Mountain Range, on the far interior side of West Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. All of his plant specimens were sent back to Europe where Odoardo Beecari was instrumental in eventually describing this particular palm species as being "polyphyllus" which in Latin means many leaved. The altitudinal range varies from 120 meters to 700 meters, and probably over. It is suspected to be on higher slopes, but it definitely gives way to a sympatric species, Calyptrocalyx pauciflorus, which becomes more abundant as one goes higher. However in other localities, away from the Hunstein Mountain Range, it doesn't seem as particular to soil type, terrain or altitude. Editing by edric.


Trunk type: Clustering, not to dense. Leaf detail: Pinnately compound, alternately opposed, elliptical leaflets, with finely drawn out tips, and a midrib, which tends to hold the pinnae perpendicular to the rachis, reddish maroon, new emergent leaf, approximately 25-30 pinnae per frond, approximately 1 meter long. Hight: To 4 meters.


Requirements: Near full shade until mature, then filtered light when mature, consistently moist soil, well drained position.

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).

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

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