Kentiopsis piersoniorum

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Kentiopsis (Kent-ee-OHP-sis)
piersoniorum
(peer-sohn-ee-OR-uhm)
Imgflore18467 b22b80.jpg
East side of Mont Panié. Alt. 700 m., New Caledonia.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Kentiopsis (Kent-ee-OHP-sis)
Species:
piersoniorum
(peer-sohn-ee-OR-uhm)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
Oceania
Oceania.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Mackea champagne Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to New Caledonia, Kentiopsis piersoniorum, occurs in a very limited
Mt Panie, New Caledonia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
area on the east slope of Mt Panié, where it mainly occupies one valley, and adjacent hills and ridges, at an elevation of between (400+) 500-800 (-1000) meters. Kentiopsis piersoniorum grows as an emergent, gregarious, dominant, exposed tree, in shrubbery to forested vegetation, on steep slopes and ridges in schists. Associated palm species include Basselinia velutina, Chambeyronia lepidota, Cyphokentia cerifera, and Clinosperma lanuginosa. Mass germination occurs in the dense stands. The two aceessible individuals from which all collections have been made (including Moore's), at 570 m. elevation on the trail to the summit of Mt Panié, have flowered once in two years (1995-1996), and the large proportion of sterile individuals, in the main population on the opposite ridge southward, suggests that flowering may be normally biennial, or even more infrequent, with the production of only a single inflorescence each time. (J.-C. Pintaud and D. Hodel. 1998)/Palmweb.

Description

It was at one time refered to as "Mackea champagne", due its wide color range - powder blue-green leaves, pinkish petiole, yellow petiole base, and mint green base.

An emergent palm. Trunk 10-15 m. tall or more, 18-25 cm. in diam., gray, sometimes with an expanded base. Crown holds l0-12 leaves, sharply recurved; crownshaft 80-120 cm. long, purplish-green to purple, obscured by a layer of bright glaucous wax, and dotted with tiny brown scales abaxially, only slightly splitting opposite petiole and there bearing small auricles 1 cm long; petiole 12-18 cm. long, rachis 2.2-2.3 m. long, petiole and rachis purplish, covered initially by dense short white tomentum, then glabrescent; pinnae 35-40 on each side, median ones 110 X 3-4.5 cm., proximal 2 pairs continuing into lorae, all straight, narrowly acute, coriaceous, l-ribbed, ascending in a narrow V, adaxially waxy, glaucous-green, midrib bearing abaxially twisted brown ramenta on proximal l/2 to 3/4 of the pinnae. Inflorescences 80-100 cm. wide, spreading, branched to three orders, all parts except flowers and bracts strikingly glaucous and discretely spotted, with minute, brown scales; peduncle short, encircling half the trunk; prophyll 60-70 X 20 cm., acute, with marginal wings 2-5 cm. wide; first peduncular bract 60-70 X 15-18 cm. rostrate, both bracts densely covered abaxially with brown indument; rachis 30 cm. long, main branches 6-10 cm. long, 1-2 cm. wide, ± rounded, swollen at base; bracts subtending branches small, triangular proximally, reduced to a low ridge distally; rachillae 100-200 or more, 35 cm. long, 0.5 cm. in diameter, straight to reflexed, rounded, glabrous. Flowers in triads in proximal 2/3-3/4 of rachilla, bract subtending triads a thin, sharpedged, rounded shelf 1.5-1.75 mm. high; flowers glossy, dark brown in bud, flowering basipetally; staminate flowers in bud 9.5 X 4.5 mm., bullet-shaped, slightly asymmetrical; calyx 4 X 6 mm., cupular, triangular, sepals cup-shaped, rounded or truncate apically, strongly angled abaxially; petals 8 X 4.5 mm., long-ovateo connate in basal l/4-1/3, pink adaxially; stamens 35-38, exceeding petals, filaments 5 mm. long, slender, white, attenuate apically, straight or inflexed, free or nearly so, anthers 4-4.5 mm. long, slender, dorsifixed 1.5 mm. from base, connective narrow tanniniferous; pistillode 3.5-4 mm. high, 2/3 as high to equalling filaments, conic basally, attenuate apically; outer bracteole surrounding pistillate flower conspicuous, 2.5 mm. high, inner bracteole very large, sepal-like, 4.5 mm. high, only partly surrounding flower on one side, rounded; pistillate flowers at anthesis 10 X 5 mm., ovoid-elongate; calyx 5 X 5.5 mm., cupshaped, sepals broadly rounded apically; petals cup-shaped, acute apically; staminodes 6, thick, connate basally and forming a crownlike ring 0.6 mm. high; gynoecium 6 X 4 mm at anthesis, ovoid, stigmatic lobes thick, blunt, straight at anthesis, recurved later, angled, ovule pendulous. Fruits 17-23 x 9-10 mm., cylindrical and smooth when fresh, purplish, drying bullet-shaped and pebbled, fruiting perianth 6.5 mm. high, stigmatic remains apical; mesocarp with a layer offlat, mostly separate, longitudinal fibers included in a thick layer of tannin cells; endocarp thin. Seeds 10-15 x 6.5-7 mm., bullet-shaped but truncate at both ends, endosperm homogeneous. Seedling with deeply bifid eophyll, lobes narrowly lanceolate to 15 cm. long, with prominent nerves adaxially; trunkless juvenile individuals with spirally arranged leaves; saxophone growth absent. Anthesis occurs from November through April; fruits mature from August through October. (J.-C. Pintaud and D. Hodel. 1998)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Culture

Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Likes lots of moisture. Adapts easily to cultivation in tropical as well as many warm temperate climates, but is slow growing. Anthesis occurs from November through April; fruits mature from August through October. It's suggested flowering might be normally biennial or even more infrequent with the production of only a single inflorescence each time. It is very rare in cultivation due to its slow growth.

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Comments and Curiosities

THIS IS THE ONLY KENTIOPSIS THAT DOES NOT EXIBIT SAXOPHONE STYLE ROOT GROWTH, IT IS NOT A TILLERING PALM (it doesn't have a heel).


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).

Pintaud, J.-C. & Hodel, D. 1998. A Revision of Kentiopsis, a Genus Endemic to New Caledonia. Principes 42(1) 32-33, 41-53.


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

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