Burretiokentia grandiflora

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(bur-ret-ee-oh-kent-EE-ah) grandiflora (gran-dih-FLOHR-ah)
Rivière Bleue, New Caledonia.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Burretiokentia
Species: grandiflora (gran-dih-FLOHR-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Burretiokentia grandiflora is endemic to the New Caledonia, Rainforest.
Garden of Jeff and Suchin Marcus.
It's only known from the Upper Riviere Bleue valley in southern New Caledonia, from the banks of the river at 200 m. elevation about to the ridge of Montagne des Sources at 900 m. elevation. This species is known only from the extreme Sd of the Mainland, in the upper valley of the Blue River. In rain forest on steep slopes. Substrate: On shallow soil on scree ultramafic substrate. Grows in very wet forest (rainfall 3000-4000 mm. per year) on deep, humic soils overlaying periodites, or gabbros on well drained slopes or wet depressions. (From the French)

Burretiokentia grandiflora is only known from the upper Riviere Bleue valley in southern New Caledonia, from the banks of the river at 200 m elevation about to the ridge of Montagne des Sources at 900 m elevation. Burretiokentia grandiflora grows in very wet forest (rainfall >3000 or 4000 mm per year) on deep, often humic soils overlaying peridotites or gabbros on well-drained slopes or wet depressions. (J-C. Pintaud and D. Hodel. 1998)/Palmweb.


Trunk type: Solitary, subcanopy palm, of 8 to 10 m., trunk covered with prominent leaf scars, and close together, suddenly flared at the base, revealing a ring of short stilt roots. Holds ten or so leaves at maturity, leaves, spread from 1.5 to 2.5 m. long, with a short petiole slightly covered with a tomentum first, then greyish leaf sheath, short, 30 to 50 cm. long, swollen and flared quickly, covered a whitish tomentum flush first then greyish. Phenology (flower): Inflorescences 1-2 as long as the sheath, robust, somewhat erect and horizontal, densely covered with whitish tomentum; flowers in triads very large for the genus. fruits 2 cm. in diameter. Flower: Emerges from beneath crownshaft. Leaf detail: Pinnately compound, with closely knit, narrow pinnae, erect. (From the French) Editing by edric.

Burretiokentia grandiflora is especially remarkable for its large flowers, bracteoles, and triad clefts, and leaves with few, wide pinnae. Fruits are also unusually large but are still imperfectly known. Leaf sheaths are less prominently keeled than in the two other species, and the new leaf expands light green, not red. (J-C. Pintaud and D. Hodel. 1998)/Palmweb.


Very rare in cultivation.

Comments and Curiosities

This rare species is known only from a few specimens, whose lives are potentially endangered.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Low risk, conservation-dependent (LRcd). Two populations of this species are known at 200 m and 900 m elevation on the same slope, each consisting of ca. 10 adults with juveniles and seedlings. Since exploration in nearby areas of similar forest resulted in no additional plants, it seems that Burretiokentia grandiflora occurs in extremely scattered, small groups, a pattern similar to the distribution of Lavoixia macrocarpa on Mont Panie. Contrary to Lavoixia though, B. grandiflora has normal regeneration. The species is adequately protected since its entire range is included in the Provincial Park of Riviere Bleue and the Reserve Naturelle Integrale of Montagne des Sources/Palmweb.

TAXONOMIC HISTORY: Raymond Lavoix found this very rare species in a remote place away from trails high on a slope overlooking the valley of the Riviere Bleue. Gilles Pierson later found it near the Riviere Bleue in 1997/Palmweb.

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).

Pintaud, J-C. & Hodel, D. 1998. Three new species of Burretiokentia.

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

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