Ravenea latisecta

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Ravenea (rah-vehn-EH-ah)
latisecta (lah-tih-SEHK-tah)
R. latisecta23.jpg
Hawaii. Photo by BGL.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Ravenea (rah-vehn-EH-ah)
latisecta (lah-tih-SEHK-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar. Only known from the Andasibe area.
Hawaii. Photo by Geoff Stein.
Moist forest at alt. 900-1000 m, steep slope near hill crest.


Medium-sized undergrowth palm. TRUNK 6-10 m, 15-20 cm diam., internodes 4.5-12 cm, nodal scars c. 5 cm; wood hard. LEAVES 6-13, porrect to spreading; sheath 60-74 x 20 cm, white-tomentose to pinkish, abaxially with many small tufts of black hairs (not in Beentje collections); petiole 15-50 cm, proximally 7 x 4 cm across, distally 5 x 5 cm, with a dense brown tomentum; rachis c. 3.6 m, in mid-leaf 2-2.5 cm wide, almost flat abaxially and covered there with soft brown or white tomentum, adaxially with keel; leaflets stiff to slightly drooping, in one plane, about 73 on each side of the rachis, the proximal 55-100 x 2.5-3.5 cm, median 60-105 x 5-6.8 cm, distal 12-34 x 1.5-3.7 cm. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCES interfoliar, according to Jumelle solitary, but multiple in 5s-7s in Beentje collections, pendulous when dead, 140-160 cm, branched to 2 orders; peduncle 60-90 cm, 8 x 7 mm across; prophyll not seen; peduncular bracts seen 86, 160, 176 cm long; rachis 57-84 cm, with 30-40 branched and 32-60 unbranched first order branches; rachillae 3.5-20 cm, 0.7-1 mm across, with spaced flowers; pedicels 0.3-0.5 mm. STAMINATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 0.9 mm, with free lobes 0.5-0.6 x 0.2 mm; petals free, 2.4-2.5 x 1.2 mm; stamens equal, free, with filaments 0.1-0.2 mm and anthers 1.4 x 0.4 mm, rounded at base and apex. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE (description from Jumelle) ?solitary, with peduncle 60 cm long, 3 x 1.5 cm across; bracts 20 cm (inserted at 5 cm from the base of the peduncle), 80-85 cm and 90 cm (inserted at 10-15 cm), 70 cm (inserted at c. 70 cm) respectively; rachis 15 cm or less; rachillae c. 50 in number, close, 35-45 cm long. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the calyx small, with the sepals connate for about half, the free part triangular; old petals marcescent, black, ovate, acuminate, 3.6 mm; older ovary oblong, with stigmatic remains lateral. FRUIT (description from Jumelle) long-pedicellate, ovate or elliptic, 10 x 7 mm, yellow turning red; stigmatic remains lateral. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

The type is not in Paris, and could not be traced in any other herbarium. We are suspi- pistillate inflorescence by Jumelle, and we believe he only saw part of the rachis, probably the proximal part. His statements about the inflorescence being solitary or multiple are notoriously unreliable; if the pistillate inflorescence is multiple, this taxon could be an extreme form of R. madagascariensis. We failed to find any pistillate trees in Mantady, and we have included the species in the key according to Jumelle"s description. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

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 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).

Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995. The Palms of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The International Palm Society.

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

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