| Pseudophoenix (soo-doh-FEH-niks) |
Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL. Photo by Paul Craft.
Habitat and DistributionHaiti. Pseudophoenix lediniana is known only from wet forest along small canyons
Stem about 5 m tall, fusiform or ventricose, 25.1–32.5 cm in diameter breast high, gray, with prominent leaf scars when young. Leaves 15–17 in the crown, spreading; leaf about 270–310 cm long; sheath 36.0–58 cm long, green with silvery gray scales near the apex; petiole 25–60 cm long; rachis about 236 cm long, often with brown scales along its margin; leaf segments 140–160 per one side of the rachis; middle leaf segment 49.0–66.5 cm long, 1.6–2.5 cm wide, lanceolate with an acuminate tip, gray-green, glaucous abaxially, glaucous to glossy adaxially, ramenta absent on the abaxial surface of the midvein at the base of the leaf segment. Inflorescence arching to pendulous, branched to 3 orders, about 1.7 m long; peduncle about 95 cm long and 4.0 cm in diam., glabrous; prophyll about 104 cm long, about 8.5 cm wide, bearing dark brown scales along both edges (keels); inner bract not seen; rachillae 13.0–14.7 cm long and 1.5–1.7 mm in diam., directed toward the apex of the inflorescence. Flower pseudopedicel 0.7–2.0 mm long, 1.4–1.7 mm in diam., green to glaucous; calyx a shallow three-lobed cupule, 4.0–5.2 mm in diam., lobe apices rounded, green to glaucous, margins hyaline; petals ovate, 5.5–6.0 mm long, 4.7–4.9 mm wide, green, glaucous abaxially, spreading, with about 12 major veins; filaments about 2.1 mm long, not connate, anthers ovoid, about 4.3 mm long and 2.1 mm wide, yellow; gynoecium (in bisexual flowers) about 3.2 mm long and 2.0 mm in diam.(pistillode in staminate flowers smaller), green. Fruit 17.2–25.1 mm long, 14.8–21.7 mm in diam. (in single-seeded fruits); endocarp 15.2–17.6 mm long, 15.6–17.3 mm in diam., about 0.5 mm thick. Seed 12.3–14.6 mm long, 10.9–14.2 mm in diam. (S. Zona. 2002)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Pseudophoenix lediniana is similar in many respects to P. vinifera, but the lobed calyx of P. lediniana is markedly distinct from the unlobed calyx of P. vinifera. The stem of P. lediniana is not strongly bottle-shaped, as in P. vinifera, but rather slightly ventricose. (S. Zona. 2002)
Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a.
Comments and Curiosities
Conservation: The palm is not valued for wine-making, and the area is under no severe threats by human activities. Nevertheless, the species is highly vulnerable and without protection. (S. Zona. 2002)/Palmweb.
Critically Endangered; Found in the south-west peninsula. In 1989 only 30 trees were found in the wild. (ICUN Redlist)
Uses: Locally; the fruit is fed to livestock.
In cultivation, Pseudophoenix lediniana is said to be the fastest-growing of all Pseudophoenix. It makes a lovely ornamental palm, but it is not yet common outside the collections of botanical gardens and enthusiasts. (S. Zona. 2002)/Palmweb.
"Pseudophoenix lediniana is probably the largest of the pseudophoenix palms.Overall, it is similar to P.vinifera with an upright habit except as the palm matures,the base of the tree is considerably wider than other P. species. (Scott (aztropic))
Perhaps the most elegant and fast growing of the genus, this Pseudophoenix forms a waxy-white and distinctively ringed, spindle-shaped trunk that supports a crown of gracefully arching, dark green leaves. It is a very rare species, native only to a very small area in southern Haiti, where it grows in dry scrub forest on the steep slopes of a river valley. (RPS.com)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- A Revision Of Pseudophoenix By Dr. Scott Zona
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).
Zona, S. 2002. A Revision of Pseudophoenix. Palms 46(1) 19-38.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.