Cyphosperma naboutinense

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(sigh-foh-SPUHR-mah) naboutinense
In habitat. Photo-Rare Palm
Scientific Classification
Genus: Cyphosperma
Species: naboutinense
None set.
Native Continent
Please set a value for continent.
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Cyphosperma naboutinense is found in Fiji. Cyphosperma naboutinense is known only from
Floribunda Palms, Hawaii.
Naboutini in Serua Province along the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji. At the type locality slightly inland from the coast, it is restricted to several, small populations confined to four adjacent drainages in lowland rain forest at about 300 m elevation. (Hodel and J.Marcus. 2011)/Palmweb.


Description Solitary, slender, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious, understory tree palm to 12 m tall. Stems 10-12 cm diam., green aging to brown or gray, with slightly raised, irregular leaf scars, these 1 cm wide, internodes 6 cm. Leaves 15-18, pinnate, ascending to mostly spreading, to 2.8 m long, canopy typically with several persistent, dead, brown leaves hanging below the green ones ); leaf bases to 30 cm long, deeply split opposite petiole and not forming a crownshaft , green distally, dark brown proximally, persistent on the distal 75 100 cm of stem below the leaves; petiole to 75 cm long, green, convex abaxially, concave adaxially; rachis to 2 m long; pinnae 25-30 on each side of rachis, mid- and proximal mid-blade pinnae largest, these 75 × 4.5 cm, lanceolate, sigmoid, longacuminate, opposite to subopposite, midrib prominent adaxially, lacking scales, 1 primary nerve and 1 or 2 secondary nerves on either side of midrib, proximal pinnae subopposite, to 40 × 2.5 cm, most distal pinnae to 35 × 4 cm, all nerves slightly more conspicuous abaxially with midrib having 10-15, slender, reddish brown, medifixed ramenta 5-10 mm long in proximal 20 cm. Inflorescences several, interfoliar in flower, interfoliar or infrafoliar in fruit, exceeding petiole but much shorter than leaves, to 1.6 m long, laxly branched to 3 orders ; peduncle to 75 cm long, 11 cm wide at attachment, 6 cm wide at prophyll scar, narrowing to 2 × 1.2 cm at 1st peduncular bract; prophyll not seen but attached 3 cm distal of base and incompletely encircling peduncle at attachment, 1st peduncular bract attached 3 cm distal of prophyll attachment, to 75 cm long, tattered, long-acuminate, 2nd peduncular bract attached 28 cm distal of prophyll, to 3 cm long, tattered, 3rd peduncular bract not seen but attached 37 cm distal of prophyll; rachis to 85 cm long with up to 9 branches and 6 unbranched rachillae, branches attached at right angles to rachis, proximal 1st-order branches with up to 5 2nd order branches and 5 rachillae each, peduncle of 1st-order branches to 35 cm long, rachis of 1st-order branches to 30 cm long, peduncle of 2nd-order branches to 18 cm long, rachis of 2nd-order branches to 7 cm long, 3rd-order braches simple rachillae, bracts subtending large, proximal branches to 35 cm long, longacuminate, bracts subtending smaller branches and rachillae to 5 cm long, short-acute to longacuminate; up to 70 rachillae, these to 45 cm long, 1.5 mm diam. at base, 1 mm diam. At apex; peduncle, rachis, and rachillae with reddish brown tomentum.


Marcus planted seeds of Cyphosperma naboutinense and C. trichospadix in 1993 at his nursery near Kurtistown on the island of Hawaii, an area of mild temperatures (19-29ºC, 65-85ºF) and abundant rain (250 cm, 100 inches annually). Resulting seedlings were sufficiently large to plant out in 1995, and plants of both species began to flower in 2008. They are perhaps the only fruiting plants of these two species in cultivation. From flowers to mature fruits takes about one year for Cyphosperma naboutinense. Seeds germinate readily, and seedlings are easy to grow. With C. trichospadix and C. balansae, in contrast, from flowers to mature fruits takes longer, germination is more sporadic and seedlings somewhat trickier to grow. Marcus has less experience with C. tangae, but seeds of this species germinate much more slowly and sporadically than the others (Hodel and J.Marcus. 2011)/Palmweb.

Comments and Curiosities

This slender, mid-sized palm survives in a tiny, critically endangered population in lowland rainforest, on southern Viti Levu, Fiji. (

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).

Hodel & J.Marcus. 2011. Cyphosperma naboutinense, a New Species from Fiji.

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

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