Geonoma oldemanii

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Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
oldemanii (ohl-deh-mahn'-ee)
Piste de Saint Elie, French Guiana. Photo by Daniel Barthelemy, edric.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
oldemanii (ohl-deh-mahn'-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Undivided, entire bifid.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Brazil North, French Guiana.
Camp de la Loutre sur la Comté, French Guiana.
From 0°15-S'5°03'N and 50°30-56°30'W in the eastern Amazon region in French Guiana and Brazil at 51(20-100) m elevation in coastal, terra firme forest or lowland rainforest.


Clustering palm 3.5 (2.0-7.0) m tall; stems 1.6 (0.2-2.5) m tall, 2.0 (1.7-2.4) cm in diameter, clustering, cane-like; internodes 1.7 (0.8-2.2) cm long, yellowish and smooth. Leaves 14 (12-19) per stem, undivided, not plicate, bases of blades recurved against the rachis; sheaths 14.0(10.0-17.5) cm long; petioles 9.1(1.0-18.0) cm long, drying green or yellowish; rachis 125.9 (107.5-149.0) cm long, 6.5 (4.3-9.7) mm in diameter; veins not raised or slightly raised and triangular in cross-section adaxially; pinnae 1 per side of rachis; basal pinna length and width not applicable, forming an angle of 9 (4-15)° with the rachis; apical pinna 26.8 (19.0-38.0) cm long, width not applicable, forming an angle of 16 (12-18)° with the rachis. Inflorescences unbranched; prophylls and peduncular bracts ribbed with elongate, unbranched fibers, both bracts tubular, narrow, elongate, closely sheathing the peduncle, more or less persistent; prophylls 29.5 (25.0-37.5) cm long, not short and asymmetrically apiculate, the surfaces not ridged, without unequally wide ridges; peduncular bracts 23.3 (21.5-25.0) cm long, well-developed, inserted 3.7 (3.3-4.0) cm above the prophyll; peduncles 41.5 (39.5-42.5) cm long, 4.3 (3.4-5.5) mm in diameter; rachillae 1, 32.7 (26.0-45.0) cm long, 7.8 (6.5-10.3) mm in diameter, the surfaces without spiky, fibrous projections or ridges, drying brown or yellow-brown, without short, transverse ridges, not filiform and not narrowed between the flower pits; flower pits spirally arranged, labrous internally; proximal lips with a central notch before anthesis, often the two sides of the notch overlapping, not recurved after anthesis, not hood-shaped; proximal and distal lips drying the same color as the rachillae, not joined to form a raised cupule, the proximal lip margins overlapping the distal lip margins; distal lips well-developed; staminate and pistillate petals not emergent, not valvate throughout; staminate flowers deciduous after anthesis; stamens 6; thecae diverging at anthesis, inserted directly onto the apiculate filament apices; anthers not short and curled at anthesis, usually elongate, spiraled and twisted or sometimes remaining straight; non-fertilized pistillate flowers deciduous after anthesis; staminodial tubes lobed at the apex, the lobes spreading at anthesis, acuminate, those of non-fertilized pistillate flowers not projecting and persistent after anthesis; fruits 16.2 (14.4-17.7) mm long, 13.7 (12.4-16.3) mm in diameter, the bases without a prominent stipe, the apices not conical, the surfaces not splitting at maturity, without fibers emerging, not bumpy, not apiculate; locular epidermis with operculum, smooth, with pores. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Taxonomic notes: - Geonoma oldemanii is related to G. triglochin and G. umbraculiformis. It differs from these in its prophylls and peduncular bracts which are ribbed with elongate, unbranched fibers, and both bracts are tubular, narrow, elongate, closely sheath the peduncle, and are more or less persistent. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.

Subspecific variation: - No trait varies within this species. There is geographic discontinuity, and specimens come from three areas - French Guiana, Marajó, and the Rio Trombetas, the last two in Brazil. There are too few specimens to test for differences, and the gaps are likely to be artifacts of insufficient collecting. One specimen from French Guiana (Roncal 396? not included in the above description) is much smaller than other specimens, and resembles G. stricta subsp. pliniana, with which it occurs. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.


Warm, sheltered and moist. Often found growing in inundated areas.

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).

Henderson, A.J. 2011. A revision of Geonoma. Magnolia Press.

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

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