| Saribus (sahr-EE-buhs) |
Thailand. Photo by Geoff Stein.
Habitat and DistributionSaribus rotundifolia is found in Borneo, Maluku, New Guinea, and Sulawesi,
Hermaphroditic palm. Trunk to 45 m tall, 15-25 cm in diam. breast high, leaf scars obscure to prominent, light green to white, internodes broad, green to grey, smooth or infrequently with longitudinal fissures, petiole stubs not persistent. Leaves 20-50 in a globose crown; petiole slightly arching, 90- 210 cm long, 15 cm wide proximally, about 2 cm wide distally, adaxially flat or moderately ridged, margins with retrorsely recurved black spines 1-20 mm long throughout or proximally only, with largest proximally, distally becoming smaller and more widely spaced, or very infrequently with spines lacking in mature plants; leaf-base fibres moderately prominent, coarse, in a criss-cross pattern, brown, persistent, appendage triangular; hastula very prominent, 2 cm high; lamina costapalmate, circular to subcircular, regularly segmented, 75-150 cm long, adaxially semi-glossy dark green, abaxially lighter subglaucescent green; lamina divided for 38-62% of its length, with 60-90 segments, depth of apical cleft 4-25% of the segment length, apical lobes usually erect, but pendulous in segments with deeper clefts; mid-leaf segments about 5 cm wide where the segments diverge; parallel veins 6-9 each side of midrib; transverse veins equal thickness or thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences trifurcate with ± similar collateral axes, branched to 4 orders, 90-150 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, arching; partial inflorescences about 10, longest to about 30 cm; prophyll to 30 cm long, glabrous, straw coloured; peduncular bracts lacking or 1, and then tightly tubular; rachis bracts tightly tubular, reddish brown, glabrous, apically truncate, remaining intact with age; rachillae 3-20 cm long, 1-1.5 mm thick, straight, yellowish, glabrous. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-4, to 2-3 mm long, yellowish, sessile on small pulvini; sepals broadly ovate, very obtuse, dorsally carinate; petals less obtuse, yellowish; ovary glabrous; style subulate, acute, very short. Fruit globose to subglobose, 11-25 mm in diam., at first yellow, ripening though to orange-red to red or to dark violet or bluish-black; stigmatic remains inconspicuous; epicarp thin, smooth or with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line for full length of fruit; mesocarp about 1.5 mm thick, slightly fibrous to gritty; endocarp very thin; pedicel 2-3 mm long. Seed globose, 10-13 mm in diam., endosperm intruded for two-thirds to almost full width of endosperm; hilum broad, orbicular; embryo lateral, 2-2.4 mm long. Eophyll 5 ribbed. Editing by edric.
Livistona rotundifolia is treated here as a variable species. Previous taxonomy, which included a number of taxa that are herein synonymised, is otherwise difficult to support. The morphological diversity within L. rotundifolia encompasses both leaf and fruit characteristics; the former with segment apices erect to semi-pendulous, and the latter with size, of 11-25 mm in diam., and colour, at first yellow, then ripening though to red or to dark violet or bluish-black. These variable characters appear to occur more or less randomly throughout the entire population. Livistona rotundifolia was the first species in the genus to be taxonomically recognised, and named by Rumphius (1741) in the pre-Linnean publication Herbarium Amboinense, as the mononomial Saribus. Linnaeus (1753) included Rumphius' Saribus as part of his broadly circumscribed Corypha umbraculifera. Subsequently, Lamarck (1786) extracted Saribus from that taxon and used it as the basis for his Corypha rotundifolia, which is the first use of the specific epithet, and named for the round leaves: "Coryphe à feuilles rondes". Merrill (1917, p. 111) noted that "Saribus Rumph. is the whole basis of Corypha rotundifolia Lam., which in turn typifies Livistona rotundifolia Mart.2, and therefore proposed the illustration in Herbarium Amboinense, tab. 8 (Rumphius, 1741), to be the lectotype. Moore (1963a) proposed S. rotundifolius as the lectotype for the genus Saribus. The entity of Saribus Rumph. was implicated in other taxa, with Loureiro (1790) partly basing his Corypha saribus on it. To clarify the identity of the species, Blume (1838) established the genus Saribus, utilising the name of Rumphius' mononomial as his genus name, to include C. rotundifolia and other taxa, and thus made the combination Saribus rotundifolius. Soon after, Martius (1838) provided the first synopsis of Livistona, subsuming Blume's Saribus and some Corypha species by various authors, resulting in the currently accepted combination Livistona rotundifolia. Martius' account clearly established the relationship of L. rotundifolia in regards to other taxa, including Linnaeus' C. umbraculifera, Blume's Saribus, and the versions of C. rotundifolia provided in the works of Willdenow (1799), Sprengel (1825) and Schultes and Schultes (1829). In the latter two references, Loureiro's C. saribus was placed as a synonym of C. rotundifolia. Martius, however, excluded C. saribus from his L. rotundifolia, but included it as a synonym of L. cochinchinensis, thus aligning C. saribus and L. cochinchinensis and establishing the disassociation of C. saribus from L. rotundifolia. See Notes under L. saribus for further discussion about this. Livistona altissima was described by Zollinger (1857) for palms cultivated at Bogor Botanic Gardens (Miquel, 1868) with a "trunco altissimo gracili" but otherwise resembled L. rotundifolia but lacked petiolar spines, "frondibus habitu et conglomeratione L. rotundifolia Mart. petiolis subrecurvis inermibus" The undated collection Zollinger 2684 (BM) from Java, is here chosen as the lectotype. Livistona altissima was first synonymised under L. rotundifolia by Beccari (1931). Livistona robinsoniana was described by Beccari (1911) based on Robinson 9265 from Polillo Is (Robinson, 1911), and named for the collector, Canadian botanist, C. B. Robinson (1871-1913). Beccari related L. robinsoniana to L. rotundifolia, but distinguished it on fruit colour, being orange-reddish rather than bluish-black, and in the depth to which the testa intruded into the endosperm, it being much deeper than in L. rotundifolia. However, fruit colour in L. rotundifolia as interpreted here, is variable, with fruit maturing when orange, red, crimson or nearly black. Beccari (1919a, 1919b) ultimately recognised three subspecies of L. rotundifolia in the Philippines, L. rotundifolia var. microcarpa, L. rotundifolia var. mindorensis, and L. rotundifolia var. luzonensis, all of which cannot be separated from L. rotundifolia sensu lato. The characters that Beccari used to delimit the Philippine subspecies were narrow and can be accounted for in the overall variation that would be expected to occur in a widespread species. Beccari (1931, p. 76) wrote of L. rotundifolia that it was " a palm of wide geographical distribution and subject, for that reason, to vary more or less, but easily grouped around one well characterised type". Regarding fruit colour in L. rotundifolia: it appears that individuals have uniformity in mature fruit colour, and that variation occurs in individuals within and between populations. Some of the original designations of fruit colour for L. rotundifolia included Lamarck (1786), ?orange, then red?; Blume (1838), "yellowish to atro-coerulescentes"; and Beccari (1907) for L. microcarpa "shining vermilion red, ultimately wine red or nearly black". Livistona rotundifolia is one of a distinct group of closely related species that has its distribution in Malesia, including the Philippines. The group is characterised by a trifurcate, or very infrequently bifurcate inflorescence, and fruit maturing through an orange-red phase to be fully mature at orange, red, crimson, dark red or black. The group consists of L. rotundifolia (Indonesia, Philippines), L. merrillii (Philippines), L. brevifolia, L. chocolatina, L. papuana, L. surru, L. tothur (New Guinea), and L. woodfordii (New Guinea and Solomon Islands). Livistona rotundifolia is a variable canopy palm to 45 m tall; leaves are large and regularly segmented; segment apices are rigid or pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft 4-25% of the segment length; the inflorescence is basally trifurcate or infrequently bifurcate, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 10 partial inflorescences; bracts are tightly tubular; flowers are yellowish; fruit are globose, to 25 mm in diam., and orange-red to red, dark violet to bluish black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.
Saribus rotundifolia requires a shady, sheltered position when young but is quite happy in full sun when more mature and the humidity is very high. Although the Footstool Palm is from the tropics it has successfully been grown in sub-tropical and even warm temperate areas. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a
Comments and Curiosities
In September 2011, after DNA research the reclassification from the genus Livistona to the resurrected genus Saribus was official.
Etymology: Saribus; Latin, from the Maluku vernacular name, sariboe. rotundifolia from the Latin for rotundifolius; having rounded leaves, referring to the almost round palmate leaves.
Uses: Edible Seeds and Palm Heart.
This palm was classified as Livistona rotundifolia prior to 2011.This palm is native to SE Asia where it is one of the more common landscape plants. It is not so common in the U.S. where it is mainly found in Zone 10A and higher. Under ideal growing conditions (warmth and humidity) it is one of the fastest growing palms in the world. There are reports of growth rates from seedling to 6-8 foot trunk in 3 years! It can ultimately reach heights of 80 feet or more. Young plants prefer some shade but mature ones love full sun. (pennyspalms.com)
It is a tall palm with a solitary stem, growing to about 18–27 m tall. Foliage: Its long-stalked, spirally arranged palmate leaves have leaf blades that are almost round in outline, and regularly divided to about half of the length, 1.2 m in diameter. Flowers: Its flowers are borne on a long-stalked inflorescence, about 0.9–1.2 m long. Fruits: Its round fruits are fleshy drupes that are about 2 cm across, ripening from red to black. Its flowers are pollinated by bees. Its fruits are eaten by frugivorous birds. (florafaunaweb.nparks.gov.sg)
Saribus rotundifolius (syn: Livistona rotundifolia) is a very attractive palm, especially when young, due to its large, round, shiny, shallowly divided leaves. It is also known as “Anahaw” (National leaf of the Phillipines). Trunk: Solitary, smooth, brown, with the rings of the scars of the foliar petioles in evidence and clothed with beautifully greyish woven fibres in the upper part below the crown. In its natural habitat it can grow to up to 24 metres in height but in a garden situation usually it will not grow that tall. Diameter 20-25 cm. Leaves: Broad, erect to pendent, palmate, wider than long, almost round in outline from a very early age, shiny, glossy green and incised for about half of their length in usually rigid and stiff segments. As it gets older however, the leaves become more divided, and not quite so pretty. The leaves in juvenile palms are about 1,5 metres wide and circular, while they are smaller, costapalmate in older palms and do not form a full circle. Petioles up to 2 metres, spiny at the base on lower surface in the young plants, almost unarmed in the adult specimen and blades are shorter than the petiole. Inflorescences: About 2 metres long, dividing into 3 main axis bearing up to 4 orders of branching, with small, yellow, bisexual flowers. Blooming period: Spring to summer. The flowers appear in bunches only when the plant is very old. The plants that are used as potted plants do not generally flower. Fruits: Small spherical to 1,5-2 cm in diameter red to black when ripe. (llifle.com)
Common Names include:
ENGLISH: Fan palm, Table palm, Serdang palm, Java fan palm, Footstool palm ARABIC ( لعربية ): ليفستونيا روتانيفولي CEBUANO (Sinugboanong Binisaya): Anahaw CENTRAL BIKOL (Bikol Central): Anahaw, Bulos CHINESE (中文): 圆叶蒲葵, Gao bei pu kui (as Livistona altissima - Taiwan), Yuan ye pu kui FRENCH (Français): Palmier évantail de Java GERMAN (Deutsch): Waldpalme, Serdang-Schirmpalme, Livistonie, Fächer-palme ITALIAN (Italiano): Palma parasole, Serdang daun bulat NORWEGIAN (Bokmål): Dronningpalme PORTUGUESE (Português): Palmeira-leque SPANISH (Español): Palmere de hoja redonda, Palmera de escabel, Palma de escabel TAGALOG: Anahaw THAI (ภาษาไทย): Paam yawa (paam jawa), Paam chawa
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
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).
Dowe, J.L., A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae). A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae).
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.