Pinanga veitchii

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Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
veitchii (vehtch'-ee)
Kuala Belalong, Temburong, Brunei Darussalam (Borneo). Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
veitchii (vehtch'-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Entire leaf (bifid).
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Borneo. Tropical moist forest.
Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia (Borneo). Young plant. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.


A dwarf understory palm native to Borneo. This species grows in clumps and develops slender trunks which rarely exceed two meters in height. Most unusual are the leaves of the seedlings and young shoots, which are mottled in a camouflage pattern of purple-brown and pale green. Editing by edric.

A small, clustering palm to about 1.5 m tall, with thick, leathery, deeply notched, entire leaves. When young (and close to the ground) these leaves are spectacularly mottled in browns and purples, and blend in extraordinarily well with their surroundings (leaf litter). As the plants get taller, this mottling decreases, and tall plants have plain green leaves.


Cultivation recommendations: A tropical lowland plant requiring high humidity, heavy shading, and a minimum temperature of 20 C for good growth. Prefers rich but well-drained soil with a high humus content. Warm, sheltered and moist. Strictly tropical in its requirements, very slow growing, and renowned as a difficult plant.

Comments and Curiosities

A most amazing, clustering dwarf palm with thin canelike stems and tiny, undivided leaves that are intensively mottled in purplish brown and yellowish green tones in young plants. In older plants, the mottling slowly disappears. Native to the understory of rainforests on Borneo, it is rather slow growing and requires a protected spot under established canopy in the humid tropical garden. (

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).

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

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