| Wettinia (weh-tin-EE-ah) |
Colombia. Photo-Universidad Nacional Colombia-agenciadenoticias.unal.edu
Habitat and DistributionAndean slopes in Colombia (both sides) and Ecuador (W side only), at 500-2000
Canopy palm. Stem solitary, 5-20 m tall and 10-15 cm in diameter, smooth. Leaves 3-5 m long; pinnae 20-25 on each side, somewhat hairy, especially below, longitudinally divided into 2-7 segments, these spreading in different planes, 80-130 cm long and 2.5-10 cm wide in the central part of the blade. Inflorescences 3-7 per node; peduncle 15-40 cm long; rachis 8-40 cm long; branches 15-30; male inflorescence branches to 30 cm long, the female to 60 cm long, pendulous. Male flowers 5-10 mm long, with 6-22 stamens. Female flowers dispersed along the branches, 5-6 mm long. Fruits green, minutely warty, glabrous or hairy, 2.5-3.5 cm long and 2-3 cm in diameter. (Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Occasionally individuals with clustered stems are encountered.
Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a
Comments and Curiosities
Wettinia kalbreyeri is a monoecious palm distributed on the Andean highland forests from Colombia and Ecuador with high ecological and economical value. For several decades, its populations have been intensively harvested, which caused a significant decrease of its natural stocks. However, no research has been done yet on the regeneration and dynamics of this important species. In order to get critical information for its management, we characterized the life cycle and surveyed for one year an undisturbed natural forest dominated by this palm in the Western Cordillera of Colombia. We established 10 permanent plots (0.1- ha each) and evaluated the structure and population dynamics with a matrix model structured by sizes. We found a high density of individuals up to 50 cm- height (129.520 ± 72.701 ha-1); the density of adult palms was also high (768 ± 263 ha-1), with an average basal area of 21.34 ± 8.84 m2 ha-1. Population growth was positive during the period evaluated (l = 1.079); results of the elasticity analysis suggest that changes of adult density could severely impact the population dynamics. Because of the high temporal variability of natural populations, a longer monitoring time is important to improve the reliability of estimates.
Palms are an important component of neotropical forests, not only for their high abundance and wide altitudinal distribution (Durán and Franco, 1992; Henderson et al., 1995), but also for their ecological and economical functions. For instance, as a source of food for wild and pollinators; in addition, palms are often one of the most important sources of food for several species along dry seasons (Durán and Franco, 1992). On the other hand, people have used the Areaceae family in different ways; in Colombia, about 120 different applications of this family have been identified and 61% of 231 palm species have one or more alternative products (Galeano and Bernal, 2010).
Particularly, Wettinia kalbreyeri (Burret) R. Bernal is a palm species distributed in the highlands of Colombia and Ecuador (above 2000 m altitude). Despite its logging is forbidden, many people in Antioquia and in other states of Colombia have been exploiting this palm for several decades; basically, they cut the palm stems to be used in rural constructions and handicrafts (CORANTIOQUIA, 2007). Because of the high demand, the extraction of this palm is currently increasing in the Andean forests of this region of Colombia where it is abundant (in fact, several palm species of this region are endangered; Galeano and Bernal, 2010).
This situation seems to be non-compatible with the long-term conservation of this species. Despite its tremendous importance and the imminent danger of this species, the basic knowledge for its sustainable management is lacking. For example, there are no studies on the ecology and biology of W. kalbreyeri, including basic aspects of its population dynamics and demography. The natural distribution of W. kalbreyeri comprises part of the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador; particularly, in Colombia is more abundant on the western slopes of the Western Cordillera, and the northern part of the Central Cordillera; occasionally it may be found on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental. It is the most widely distributed species of its genus (Galeano and Bernal, 2010), and is common in primary forests (Galeano and Bernal, 1987; Henderson et al., 1995).
Indigenous peoples extract baton rods, and make frames for Their house corridors. They Also use the wood for all types of furniture, doors and windows. This type of logging is illegal and is Reducing the population ", says Maria Claudia Diez, Professor of the UN-Medellin Department of Forestry Sciences.
A truly amazing palm, this rare species from high altitude cloud forest in the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador (to about 2200 m / 7300 ft), is one of the largest Wettinia and produces a slender, solitary, smooth trunk, supported by a dense cone of stilt roots and topped by an open crown of full, plumose leaves held much in the manner of the legendary Dictyocaryum. The crown is supported by a tall, green crownshaft. Due to its high altitude habitat, W. kalbreyeri is tolerant of prolonged cool conditions, but does not like frost. It will grow quite fast in a protected, shady spot in a warm temperate or subtropical climate. Older plants tolerate more exposure to sun and wind. (RPS.com)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- A MUST SEE
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).
Borchsenius F., Borgtoft-Pedersen H. and Baslev H. 1998. Manual to the Palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.