Desmoncus stans

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Desmoncus (dehs-MON-koohs)
stans (stahns)
Costa Rica. Photo by Dr. Andrew J. Henderson/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Desmoncus (dehs-MON-koohs)
stans (stahns)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Desmoncus stans is found in Costa Rica. From 8°31'-8°46'N and 83°15'-83°36'W in
Costa Rica. Photo by Dr. Andrew J. Henderson/Palmweb.
the Osa Peninsula and adjacent areas in Costa Rica at 301(100-700) m elevation in lowland rainforest. (Henderson, A. 2011)/Palmweb.


Palm 1.3 (0.5-2.3) m tall; stems 0.7 (0.5-1.0) cm in diameter, clustering. Leaf petioles 8.7 (5.5-12.5) cm long; rachises 21.7 (15.0-28.0) cm long, 2.4 (1.7-3.3) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 5 (4-6) per side of rachis, with long, filiform apices, without a beard of spines at the bases, with uneven surfaces at the bases adaxially, usually covered with spinules and/or dense tomentum; basal pinna 14.2 (10.7-19.0) cm long, 3.7 (2.4-4.3) cm wide; cirri absent, the rachis terminating beyond the distalmost, opposite pair of pinnae in a <1 cm long ?stub?, this with an easily broken, longer, smooth, brown extension. Inflorescences rachis absent (inflorescence spicate); peduncles 2.3 (1.8-2.7) mm wide; peduncular bracts 14.4 (12.3-18.0) cm long, narrow, ribbed, densely whitish-brown tomentose, not spiny; rachillae 1, brown tomentose initially, 2.5 (1.8-3.0) cm long, 1.6 (1.4-2.0) mm wide; stamens 6; fruits 13.3 (12.8-13.7) mm long, 10.5 (9.5-11.1) mm wide, the surfaces uneven with numerous, subepidermal, short, often branching (Y-shaped) fibers; fruiting corollas less than one quarter as long as fruits, splitting irregularly into 3 lobes, the lobes often splitting again; endocarps globose to obovoid with rounded or slightly peaked apices, the pores lateral. (Henderson, A. 2011)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Taxonomic notes:-Unusual in its non-climbing habit, pinnae with long, filiform apices, and spicate inflorescences. Subspecific variation:-There is no geographic disjunction. The length of the rachilla is given above as 2.5 (1.8-3.0) cm long. However, one cultivated specimen (Grayum 8115 at CR), not included here, has a rachilla 11 cm long with a distal, 7 cm section with only staminate flowers. It appears that this distal staminate section is always present but soon separates and falls from the inflorescence, and so the rachilla seems shorter. (Henderson, A. 2011)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

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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