Pinanga ridleyana

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Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
ridleyana (rid-leh-YAHN-ah)
Pinanga Ridleyana44.jpg
Borneo. Photo by Clayton York, Utopia Palms & Cycads
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pinanga (pih-NAHN-gah)
ridleyana (rid-leh-YAHN-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Entire bifid.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Borneo; Sarawak rainforest.
Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo). Photo by Rudy Meyer,


Small, solitary palm to about 0.3 m tall, with narrow, shiny, entire bifid leaves. Editing by edric.


Warm, sheltered and moist. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Beccari annotated a collection made by Ridley (12472) of an entire leaved Pinanga sp.; the specimen was collected at Jambusan, Sarawak, and is in Kew. Beccari evidently also described the plant in detail and had every intention of publishing it as P. ridleyana Becc. However, he died before it could be published and his manuscripts were edited by Martelli and published in 1934 in Atti della Societa Toscana di Scienze Naturali Residente in Pisa Memorie Vol. 44. On 15 July 1934 Furtado published a paper in Feddes Repertorium Vol. 35: Nr. 928/935 to account for nomenclatural changes and new species in the genus Pinanga. In it he described Pinanga ridleyana Becc. in sched., based on the same collection made by Ridley. The date of Martelli's paper is less precise, being 1934 only. Dr F. Garbari of Pisa has kindly elucidated the problem of priority. Martelli presented his paper to the Societa Toscana on 12 July 1934 as recorded in the Processi Verbali of the Society, 43:106 (1934) with a note that the paper would be published in a volume of the Memorie of the Society. This means that the actual date of publication of the paper in Memorie must postdate 15 July 1934 even though the actual date is still not known; hence Furtado's description of Pinanga ridleyana has priority over Martelli's. The same problem of priority is also found in P. baramensis Furtado vs. P. barramensis Becc. ex Martelli (q.v.). (J. Dransfield. 1980)/Palmweb.

This splendid little gem from the undergrowth of tropical rainforests on Borneo forms a thin, solitary stem that holds a compact crown of small, entire, dark green, undulate leaflets. The palm is really something special, easily one of the finest palms in the world, and in the ever-diminishing Bornean rainforests it is truly a feat to find even a small quantity of seeds. An absolute rarity, it is only cultivated in a few collections around the world and will do best under tropical conditions in a sheltered site. (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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).

J. Dransfield, Systematic Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Borneo. 1980. 1980. Systematic Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Borneo. Kew Bulletin, Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 769-788.

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

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