Hydriastele costata

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Hydriastele (hy-dree-Ah-STEL-eh)
costata (cohs-TAH-tah)
Towards north Biak, Papua, Biak, Indonesia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Hydriastele (hy-dree-Ah-STEL-eh)
costata (cohs-TAH-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Cape York Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Ubiquitous in lowland New Guinea, also found in the Aru Islands, Bismarck Archipelago,
Biak, West Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
and northeastern Queensland. H. costata is one of the most common and abundant palms in lowland New Guinea. The species occurs on mesic, well-drained soils in hilly terrain as well as in swampy or seasonally flooded situations.


Tall, moderate palm to 20 m or more in height; stem 20-30 cm in diameter; leaf sheath 75-150 cm long, green, tinged with lilac, glabrous to finely light-brown tomentose near the tip, petiole3 5-60 cm long, blade 220-420 cm long, petiole and rachis finely white-woolly and brown-lepidote above and below, pinnae pendulous, 43-77 on each side, 97-127 cm long, 5.5 cm wide with the apex deeply bifid (or hooded in life), upper surface glabrous, lower surface minutely brown-dotted and with large, whitish, basifixed ramenta along the lower third of the midrib. Inflorescence branching to 2-3 orders, 70-125 cm long, the upper peduncular and rameal bracts rudimentary, triangular to 6 mm long or represented only by horizontal scars; rachillae straight or sometimes somewhat flexuous, to 62 cm long, 2-3 mm thick, bearing up to 280 triads Staminate flowers cream-colored, soapy scented, 6-7 mm long, stamens 6, shorter than the petals, pistillate flowers 1.5 mm high, flushed with pink; fruit 7-9 X 4.5-5 mm, blue-gray with whitish stripes over prominent fibrous ribs; endosperm homogeneous. (Frederick B. Essig 1973) Editing by edric.


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 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).

Frederick B. Essig, University of South Florida, Tampa Florida.

Baker, W.J. & Loo, A.H.B. 2004. A synopsis of the genus Hydriastele (Arecaceae). Kew Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 61-68.

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

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