Pinanga pantiensis

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Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
pantiensis (pahn-tee-EN-sis)
Photo-Malaysian Biological Diversity
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
pantiensis (pahn-tee-EN-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Southern Malaysian Peninsula. Hill slopes, ridge top, dipterocarp forest, to 250 m
Photo-Malaysian Biological Diversity
elevation. Distribution: Johor: Linggiu, Kota Tinggi, Gunung Panti F.R.(east).


Clustering undergrowth palm to 6 m tall. Stem about 20 mm in diam., green with grey-brown leaf scars; internodes 40-50 mm long, with scattered caducous black scales when newly exposed. Crownshaft about 35 cm long; sheaths pale green, about 25 cm long, striate when dry, minutely dotted with small caducous scales. Leaves arcuate, to 2 m long; petiole about 50 cm long, about 5 mm in diam. near base; rachis light orange-yellow when fresh; leaflets 10-16 on each side of the rachis, arcuate, diverging at angle of about 30 degrees from the rachis, the longest to 38 x 3 cm, very coriaceous, glossy green when fresh, acuminate and consisting of three to ten folds except for the apical two leaflets on each side, consisting of three to ten folds and lobed to a depth of 1 cm at the tips; transverse veins conspicuous, close, leaflet surfaces glabrous, ramenta absent. Inflorescence infrafoliar, known only in immature to mature fruiting state, to 15 cm long with three to five branches; prophyll 14 x 4 x 2 cm, thick, yellow green; peduncle about 3 cm long, about 8-10 mm wide at the base, tapering to 2 mm wide, rachillae conspicuously zig-zag, yellow to orange; rachilla bract triangular, about 2-4 mm, flower scar 4 mm in diam. Immature fruit green, mature fruit satiny-black, ovoid, 32-35 x 15-17 mm; epicarp minutely striate, pericarp about 4 mm thick. Seed 10 x 20 mm, endosperm deeply ruminate; embryo basal. Seedling leaf coriaceous. (Hodel, D. 1997.) Editing by edric.

Notes: When Dransfield recognised this as a new taxon, after viewing herbarium records deposited by Corner as early as 1936, and from his own collections, it was thought to be localised and endemic to the unique flora of Gunung Panti, hence the epithet. The species has since been found in adjacent areas in Johor, especially at Linggiu where the recently constructed dam has diminished its population, further threatening what is undoubtedly a rare palm. On a recent collection trip to that locality, on the stems of the few residual plants the internodes were seen to vary from 13 cm at the base, to 4 cm at the upper end, providing an indication ofeffects on growth, perhaps due to ecological change and disturbance. In appearance the taxon resembles P. malaiana, though it is not observeq to be as tall or robust. Although clustering, it usually has one or two dominant stems. The pinnae are usually narrower and more widely spaced (than in P. malaiana), and are characteristically tough and stiff. The inflorescence is its striking feature, with zig-zag rachillae, often bright yellow in colour and glossy black fruit. The recently described palm from Khao Sok in Thailand, P. fractij1exa Hodel (1997), has wavy but green, and-not so strongly fractiflexing rachillae. (Hodel, D. 1997.)


Tropical Moist Forest. Cold Hardiness Zone : 10b

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).

Hodel, D. 1997. New species ofpalms from Thailand, part II. The Palm Journal. 136: 19.

Dransfield, J. 1991. Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. Kew Bulletin. 46:697.

Special thanks to Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Ruth Kiew and Dr. Saw Leng Guan for generously contributing new species and collaboration.

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

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