Dictyocaryum lamarckianum

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Dictyocaryum
(dihk-tee-oh-CAR-yuhm)
lamarckianum
(lah-mark-kee-AHN-uhm)
Zlamarckianum02.jpg
Hawaii. Photo by Bo-Göran Lundkvist.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Dictyocaryum
(dihk-tee-oh-CAR-yuhm)
Species:
lamarckianum
(lah-mark-kee-AHN-uhm)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
America
America.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Panama: Palma barrigona. Colombia: Barrigona, barrigona blanca, palma bombona. Ecuador: Palma real. Peru: Basanco, pona.

Habitat and Distribution

Dictyocaryum lamarckianum is found in Eastern Panamá south through the Andes of
Hawaii. Photo by Bo-Göran Lundkvist.
Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, in montane forests between 1000 and 2000 m. Patchily distributed from Panamá to Bolivia along the Andes, in premontane moist to wet forest, often very abundant in a certain (variable) altitudinal range. In Ecuador it is found on both sides of the Andes.

Description

Canopy palm. Stem solitary, erect.

Stem more or less ventricose, to 25 m tall, 12-40 cm in diam. at base, 15-50 cm in diam. at swelling, 12-40 cm in diam. at apex, gray, smooth, with nodes obscure and internodes to 25 cm long; stilt roots to 150, nearly vertical, closely spaced, branched near or below ground level, to 1.5 m x 4-7 cm, longitudinally ridged with brown flaky scales, brown at first but becoming gray or black, with longitudinal lines of blunt spines. Leaves 3-6 per crown, stiffly spreading; sheaths forming a compact crownshaft, usually swollen at base by presence of inflorescence bud, 1.2-2.6 m long, glaucous, gray-green, outer surface with deciduous brown trichomes; petiole 7-75 cm long (including narrow, apical, petiolar part of sheath), 11-12 cm in diam. at base, 6-9 cm in diam. at apex, proximally rounded abaxially and shallowly grooved adaxially, from middle upwards terete, green, densely light brown-tomentose, glabrescent; rachis ridged adaxially, rounded abaxially, 2.7-5.0 m long, 6-9 cm in diam. proximally, tapering to filiform free apex, densely brown-tomentose adaxially, densely whitish-brown-tomentose abaxially; pinnae 3 5-54 per side of rachis, subop-posite, asymmetrically oblanceolate with blunt praemorse apex, gray-green glabrous adaxially, gray-white waxy abaxially with decidous hyaline trichomes, occasionally abaxially with lines 3 mm wide of dense white tomentum running parallel to veins, split to the base into 2-14 stiff segments inserted at different angles and radiating in different planes; proximal pinna split into 2-5 segments, proximal segment up to 67 cm long and 1 cm wide at mid-point; middle pinnae split into 7-15 segments, proximal segment 75-95 cm long and 5-8 cm wide at mid-point, distal segment 70-80 cm long and 1 cm wide at mid-point; apical pinna entire, flabellate, up to 20 cm long and 2.5 cm wide at mid-point. Inflorescence erect in bud and at anthesis, to 3 m long in bud; peduncle terete, straight, 35-80 cm long, half encircling stem at base and then abruptly narrowing to about 10 cm in diam. and tapering to 2.5-6 cm in diam. at apex, green, at first densely brown-tomentose, at anthesis with 8-9 bract scars; prophyll inserted at base of peduncle, caducous, ancipitous, coriaceous, tapering to apex, splitting apically and then longitudinally;

Culture

This is one of the most beautiful palms there are, but also one of the most difficult to grow... unless you live in a climate where it's from, many of the palms from high elevation near the equator are difficult to grow, since they have developed such an intolerance to cold AND heat, needing high humidity and a very narrow temperature range. Many attempts at growing this palm in So Cal have all met with failure, and as far as I know Miami growers can't do it either. However there are a number of beautiful specimens in Hawaii so it seems to tolerate a moderate humid heat pretty well... has a brilliant turquoise crownshaft topped with a large head of leaves and premorse leaflets that dangle down (like a weeping foxtail palm), all supported by an ornamentally ringed trunk and 2-3' of stilt roots (the trunk doesn't touch the ground)- amazing. It towers above the vegetation in its native central and south America (70' tall), (Geoff Stein).

Renowned as difficult to grow, it demands very high humidity year round, but can withstand quite cool conditions. HATES having roots disturbed, in any climate. Will not grow in Mediterranean climates, at least in the experience of some commentators. (David Bleistein)

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: In Colombia the fruits are eaten, and the leaves used for thatch. The stems are used as coffins by Embera Indians. In Peru the wood is used in construction. In Bolivia the palm hearts are eaten.

This fantastic species from the Andean Cloud Forest (to 2000 m (6500 ft.) makes even Roystonea look bland. Its smooth, slightly swollen trunk can reach to 25 m (80 ft.) and carries a large, grayish crownshaft and up to six enormous leaves. The stiff, long leaflets radiate in all directions, giving the leaf a very full appearance. Dictyocaryum will thrive in a humid and cool, tropical, subtropical, or warm temperate climate. We are proud to be able to offer this difficult-to-collect species again after several years. (RPS.com)


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).

Borchsenius, F.1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.

Henderson, A. 1990. Introduction and the Iriarteinae.


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

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