Wettinia maynensis

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Wettinia (weh-tin-EE-ah)
maynensis (meh-NEN-sis)
AREC-wett-ma-ecu-13137.jpg
Ecuador. Photo by Dr. Robin Foster.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Wettinia (weh-tin-EE-ah)
Species:
maynensis (meh-NEN-sis)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
America
America.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
None.

Habitat and Distribution

Eastern slopes of the Andes from S Colombia to S Peru. Common in Ecuador,
Photo-trebrown.com
especially in the Andean foothill region, at elevations between 500-1000 m.

Description

A solitary, tall, water-loving, moderately slow growing, monoecious, crownshaft palm. Not known in cultivation, common in the wild. It has a smooth, light-grey trunk, 15 m. (49 ft.) tall, 13 cm. (5 inch) diameter with no obvious leaf scars, and huge segmented, pinnate (feather) leaves, 4 m. (13 ft.) long, 0.9 m. (3 ft.) wide, dark green above and beneath. (trebrown.com)

Subcanopy or canopy palm. Stem solitary, 6-15 m tall and 8-15 cm in diameter, smooth. Leaves 3-5 m long; pinnae 30-45 on each side, entire, pendulous, with a rusty pubescence, especially below, the central ones 85-125 cm long and 8-13 cm wide, with 14-25 prominent veins. Inflorescences 3-9 per node; peduncle 15-30 cm long; rachis 1-3 cm long; branches 4-8, to 30 cm long. Male flowers ca. 1 cm long, with 9-18 stamens. Female flowers densely crowded along the branches, 10-15 mm long. Fruits minutely warty and hairy, ca. 2.5-3.5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm in diameter, forming 4-8 sausage-like clusters. (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.

An unusual population of this species with clustered stems is known from S Ecuador (Zamora-Chinchipe: Borchsenius # 325)/Palmweb.

Culture

Wettinia maynensis can survive temperatures, for a brief periods to about -3.8°C (25°F), but freezing is best avoided. It naturally occurs in wet rainforest or seasonally wet forest in montane locations. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly cool or mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme freezing conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, and well wrapped up. (trebrown.com)

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: Fruits and palm hearts edible. The stem used for making floors, blowguns and lances and to grow edible larvae, probably from Rhyncophorus palmarum. Leaves used for thatch. Seeds used for handicraft.

An unusual population of this species with clustered stems is known from S Ecuador.

This rare South American palm from the cloud forests of the Andes grows to elevations of 1600 m (5300 ft.), and is unbelievably beautiful when viewed in its wet and steep mountain habitat. In cultivation the seeds germinate quickly and subsequent growth is rather fast, producing a slender stem on short stilt roots, a tall, green crownshaft, and few leaves with large, dark green leaflets. It certainly benefits from humidity and can scarcely be over-watered if the drainage is good. It is tolerant of cool conditions but does not like frost. A shady, protected position in a mild tropical or subtropical climate will suit it best. Older plants tolerate more exposure to sun and wind. (RPS.com)

External Links

References

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.

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