| Dransfieldia (dranz-FEEL-dee-ah) |
Habitat and DistributionDransfieldia micrantha is Restricted to far western Papua province, in Indonesian New Guinea.
"Dransfieldia micrantha, is an elegant palm with pinnate fronds and numerous slender cane-like stems. It grows up to 10 m. high, with a stem diameter of 2-5 cm., and has a crownshaft (smooth column at the stem tip composed of tightly rolled tubular leaf sheaths). D. micrantha is monoecious (both male and female flowers are borne on the same plant), and bears small purple flowers, followed by olive-shaped black fruits. The inflorescences are borne on the stem below the leaves, and are 34-60 cm. long with spreading branches. The flowers are in triads (groups of three with a central female and two lateral male flowers), throughout the length of the rachillae (the branches of the inflorescence that carry the flowers)."
Clustering, rarely solitary, slender understory palm. Stem to 10 m. in height, 2–5 cm. in diam., surface smooth, often reddish when young then turning brown, internodes 4.0–19.5 cm. Leaves 4–7 per crown, new leaves emerging reddish but soon turning green, 1–2 m. long including petiole; sheath 30–45 cm. long, crownshaft 50–60 cm., green with white bloom, sometimes orange-red near the apex, and extending into the abaxial side of the petiole, dark scales especially abundant at sheath mouth; petiole 10–20 cm. long, 12–14 mm. at base; leaflets 12–27 on each side of rachis, borne 55–69 mm. apart, concolorous, ramenta ca. 5 mm. long; mid-leaf pinnae 52–76 x 2–5 cm.; apical pinnae 18.0–36.0 x 0.8–1.7 cm. Inflorescence 34–60 cm. long including peduncle and rachis, all axes red to purple at anthesis; peduncle 12–26 cm. long, 9–13 x 5–8 mm. at base; prophyll 11.5–27.0 x 1.4–2.0 cm., brown at anthesis; peduncular bracts 2–3, first peduncular bract 20.0–24.0 x 1.7–3.5 cm., remaining peduncular bracts 0.5–25.0 x 5.0–12.0 mm.; rachis 9–17 cm. long; primary branches 11–14, to 35 cm., with up to 7 rachillae each; rachillae 8.5–29.0 cm. long, 1.5–3.5 mm. in diam. at anthesis, irregularly curvaceous, triads 15–28 per 5 cm.; floral bracteoles spathulate, to 1 mm. long. Staminate flowers 4.5–5.5 x 2.2–3.4 mm. in bud near anthesis, purple; sepals 1.8–2.1 x 1.7–2.6 mm.; corolla united in basalmost 0.5–1.4 mm., corolla lobes 4.2–4.8 x 1.7–2.5 mm; stamens 15–19, white, filaments 1.5–3.1 x 0.1–0.2 mm, anther 1.0–1.3 x 0.3–0.7 mm; pollen grains 30–40 mm long; pistillode less than 0.5 mm. long. Pistillate flowers 3.8–4.3 x 3.3–3.9 mm. in bud near to anthesis, purple; sepals 2.5–3.5 x 2.3–3.0 mm.; petals 3.1–3.5 x 2–2.5 mm.; staminodes ca. 3, 0.3–0.5 mm.; gynoecium ca. 3.0 x 1.6 mm. including stigmas ca. 0.7 mm. Fruit 15.0–15.9 x 7.6–9.5 mm.; epicarp black when ripe, epicarp and mesocarp 0.7 mm. thick, endocarp 0.3 mm. thick, brown. Seed 8.9–11.0 x 6.1–7.0 mm. (W.J. Baker, S. Zona, Ch.D. Heatubun, K. Lewis, K. Lewis, R.A. Maturbongs and M.V. Norup. 2006)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Comments and Curiosities
This is a monotypic genus.
Conservation: Near Threatened. Dransfieldia micrantha meets criterion B1 for threat category ‘‘Vulnerable’’ because its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km. square, but it does not qualify for the requisite two out of three subsequent criteria. However, the impact of widespread logging, both legal and illegal, suggests that D. micrantha will potentially meet the requirements of criteria B1a and B1b in the near future. (W.J. Baker, S. Zona, Ch.D. Heatubun, K. Lewis, K. Lewis, R.A. Maturbongs and M.V. Norup. 2006)/Palmweb.
Etymology: Dransfieldia is named for Dr. John Dransfield, former Head of Palm Research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and friend and mentor to all authors of this paper, in recognition of his monumental contributions both to Malesian palm systematics and to global knowledge of palm biology as a whole. (W.J. Baker, S. Zona, Ch.D. Heatubun, K. Lewis, K. Lewis, R.A. Maturbongs and M.V. Norup. 2006)/Palmweb.
Uses: Stems used for harpoons. Leaves used for thatch. Unspecified parts used for sewing thatch. The species is grown as an ornamental in the USA and Australia, but is not yet widely available in the horticultural trade. Its colorful new leaves and inflorescences, along with its slender habit, make this palm highly desirable among palm collectors. (W.J. Baker, S. Zona, Ch.D. Heatubun, K. Lewis, K. Lewis, R.A. Maturbongs and M.V. Norup. 2006)/Palmweb.
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
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).
Baker, W.J. , Zona, S. , Heatubun, Ch.D. , Lewis, K. , Lewis, K. , Maturbongs, R.A. & Norup, M.V. 2006. Dransfieldia (Arecaceae)—A New Palm Genus from Western New Guinea. Systematic Botany, 31(1): pp. 61–69.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.