| Maxburretia |
South Thailand. Photo-L.H. Bailey Hortorium.
Habitat and DistributionSouth Thailand, where known only on two adjoining limestone hills near Sural.
DescriptionClustering, dioecious, pleonanthic fan palm, spreading by basal suckers to produce clumps of up to 10 or more stems; stems to 3 m tall at maturity, rarely to 5 m, 5 cm in diam.; base of stem free of leaf sheaths, pale brown, with close vertical cracking and leaf sheath scars, upper 1-2 m or more of stem clothed with long-persisting leaf sheaths, the combined diameter 12-15 cm. Leaf sheath, when young, erect, sheathing, composed of 15 or more hard, coarse, woody fibers to 3 mm wide, the outer fibers softly brown-hairy, in age rotting and expanding to form an open network of dirty brown fibers, the free ends spiny, sticking out from the skin, thus producing a dense spiny covering to the stem; petiole to 50 cm long, in exposed plants shorter, rarely not more than 30 cm, in trunkless juveniles longer, sometimes up to 70 cm, unarmed, oval in cross section except at the base where semicircular, 4 X 3 mm in diam., pale yellowishgreen; lamina rounded in general outline, largely held stiffly in one plane, to 75 cm in diam., largest radius along midline, about 50 cm from insertion to tip of apical leaflet, lamina divided into 25-30 single-fold leaflets, in upper part of leaf divided to half the radius, the divisions decreasing in length towards the outer edges of the lamina, where divided to 90% of the radius, leaflets further divided at the apex to 1-5 cm, to 1.5 cm wide, upper surface pale green, more or less glabrous, marked with prominent longitudinal veins, transverse veins obscure, and lower surface covered with thin white wax, abaxial ribs yellowish, bearing chaffy brown hairs; abaxial hastula absent or minutely present as a thin flange about 3 mm in height, petiole scarcely continuing into the lamina, adaxial hastula present, triangular, flattened, erose, black-edged, with chaffy grey-brown hairs. Inflorescences unisexual, axillary, arching out of the leafaxils: staminate inflorescence usually more slender and more highly and divaricately branched than the pistillate, branching to 3 orders, 25-40 cm long, with 3-5 primary branches (partial inflorescences), axis flattened at base, to 5 mm wide, 3 mm thick, densely flocculent-hairy at edges; prophyll adnate to the axis, to 7 cm long, 7 mm wide, tubular, irregularly bilobed to 1 cm at apex,
|lobes sometimes further divided, bracts subtending branches decreasing in size distally, uppermost bracts about I cm long, hardly tubular, prophyll and bracts with scattered chaffy hairs along margins, otherwise glabrous; subtended branch adnate to axis often for a distance equal to the length of the subtending bract, first order branches about 1.5 mm in diam.; rachillae to 4 cm long, about 75 cm in diam., bearing flowers singly or in pairs, each flower and/or flower pair subtended by a minute, triangular, brown, membranous bracteole: staminate flowers globular, about 2.5 mm long, pale yellow at anthesis, with no detectable scent, calyx of 3 distinct, imbricate, triangular, glabrous sepals about 1.5 mm wide, tending to be erose at margins; corolla of 3 ovate petals with thick tips, about 2.25 mm long, 1.2 mm wide, united for up to lh their length; stamens 6, the filaments fused into a staminal tube about 1 mm long, adnate to the petals, the free filaments about 0.1 mm long, hence borne epipetalously, anthers medifixed; pistillode about 0.5 mm high, consisting of 3 distinct or obscurely united carpels. Pistillate inflorescences superficially similar to staminate but branching to 2 orders only, slightly more robust and with branches less divaricate, and bearing solitary pistillate flowers: pistillate flower at anthesis creamy-yellow, with no detectable scent, about 2.5 long, 2 mm wide; calyx of 3 distinct, imbricate, rounded sepals about 0.9 mm high, 1 mm wide, with erose margins; corolla of 3 petals about 2.5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, joined in the lower one third, to form a short corolla tube; staminodes 6, joined below into a staminodial tube adnate to the corolla, filaments short, tipped with flattened empty anthers about 0.3 mm long; carpels 3, free except at the very base where minutely joined, about 1.5 mm long, 0.5 mm wide, tapering to pyramidal style tipped by a pointed stigma, upper part of carpel densely covered with silky hairs; ovule bitegmic, anatropous, basally attached, with a conspicuous funicular aril. For floral anatomy see Uhl (1978). Young fruit greenish, covered in silky hairs, more or less mature fruit pale yellowish-green (? ripening black), glabrescent except near tip, borne on the persistent perianths, usually only one carpel developing, narrowly ovoid, 8 mm long, 4 mm wide, apiculate in stigmatic remains; epicarp more or less smooth; mesocarp about 0.2 mm thick; endocarp scarcely differentiated; seed about 7 mm long 3 mm wide, with a slight dark brown, elongate postament; the embryo lateral about 2 mm above the base opposite the postament; endosperm homogeneous. (Dr. John Dransfield, 1978)/Palmweb. Editing by edric
The curious leaf sheaths, expanding to form partial whorls of spines, are highl) distinctive; such leaf-sheath fiber spines are known elsewhere only in species 0f the genera Coccothrinax Sarg. [e.g. C. pseudorigida Leon], Trithrinax Mart. [e.g T. acanthocoma Drude], and in Zombia L. H. Bailey [Z. antillarum (Descourt. ex B. D. Jacks.) L. H. Bailey]. (Dr. John Dransfield, 1978)
Clustering dioecious palm, rarely with more than 10 stems. Stem up to 3 (–5) m tall at maturity, about 5 cm in diam., naked proximally, with close leaf sheath scars and vertical cracking, covered distally for 1–2 m with persistent, spine-like leaf sheath fibres. Leaf petiole up to (20–) 30–50 (–70) cm long, cross section subcircular basally to oval distally, 3–5 mm in diam.; blade rounded in outline, flattened, up to 75 cm in diam., split into 25–30 single-fold segments, splits longest about ½ radius in the distal part, individual segments with 1–5 cm long indentations, pale green above, covered with thin white wax below. Inflorescence 25–40 cm long, with 3–5 first order branches, rachillae to 4 cm long; male inflorescence branched to three orders, male flowers solitary or in groups; female inflorescence branched to 2 orders, flowers solitary. Flower about 2.5 mm long, male flower with 1 mm long staminal tube and 0.5 mm long pistillode; female flower with flattened,about 0.3 mm long staminodes and about 1.5 mm long gynoecium. Fruit narrowly ovoid, about 0.8 x 0.4 cm, yellowish brown at maturity. (Palms of Thailand)
"I acquired five 1G M. furtadoana in 1999 from Floribunda, and planted them. They hang in there for about a year, give or take a few months, and then they all promptly died. It looked like they dried out, which would seem strange. My guess is that their soil requirements are very unique, and they just didn't like it here. Guihaia does reasonably well here." (Bo-Göran)
Comments and Curiosities
This is a dioecious genus.
Etymology: Genus name honors Max Burret (1883-1964), German botanist.
Rediscovered by Dr. John Dransfield, 1978.
"Hermaphrodite flowers which are also seen in this species resemble the female flowers. The fruits are too young for an investigation into the nature of the albumen, the position of the embryo, etc.; in the shape and arrangement of the perianth and of the young developing ovaries this species appears to be like Maxburretia rupicola. CURTIS mentions that the stems reach a height of 6-10 ft., and HENDERSON notes that they attain about 10 ft. amongst dry rocks, but that the plants are dwarfed when growing in cracks of the rocks near the sea. That the palm is caespitose has not been recorded by any of the collectors; but I have noticed this character in a plant growing in the Botanic Gardens, Singapore." (Gardens Bulletin, S.S. Vol. XI. (1941).
- 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).
Dr. John Dransfield, 1978. GENTES HERBARUM Vol. II pgs. 195-198.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.