Geonoma calyptrogynoidea

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Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
In habitat. Photo-Rare Palm
Scientific Classification
Genus: Geonoma (geo-NO-mah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

From 8°20'N-1°02? and 74°11-78°42'W in eastern Panama, the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador,
In habitat. Photo-Rare Palm
and the Magdalena and Cauca valleys in Colombia, at 212(15-550) m elevation in lowland rainforest.


Plants 3.4 (2.0-5.0) m tall; stems 2.9 (1.5-4) m tall, 2.1 (2.0-2.2) cm in diameter, solitary or clustered, canelike; internodes 2.9 (2.6-3.1) cm long, yellowish and smooth. Leaves 12 (8-15) per stem, undivided or irregularly pinnate, not plicate, bases of blades running diagonally into the rachis; sheaths 30.2 (19.5-43.5) cm long; petioles 35.5 (19.0-50.0) cm long, drying green or yellowish; rachis 81.1 (48.0-119.0) cm long, 6.8 (4.4-9.9) mm in diameter; veins raised and rectangular in cross-section adaxially; pinnae 3 (1-8) per side of rachis; basal pinna 64.9 (42.0-82.5) cm long, 22.0 (11.5-40.5) cm wide, forming an angle of 27 (15-42)° with the rachis; apical pinna 37.1 (17.5-48.0) cm long, 23.2 (14.3-33.0) cm wide, forming a 29 (22-35)° angle with the rachis. Inflorescences branched 1 order; prophylls and peduncular bracts not ribbed with elongate, unbranched fibers, flattened, deciduous or persistent; prophylls 22.1 (16.0-28.2) cm long, not short and asymmetrically apiculate, the surfaces ridged with close, equal, parallel, non-dividing ridges, scarcely tomentose between the ridges, without unequally wide ridges; peduncular bracts 25.3 (21.5-30.0) cm, well-developed, inserted 2.9 (1.4-4.8) cm above the prophyll; peduncles 45.4 (32.0-60.4) cm long, 7.3 (4.5-10.3) mm in diameter; rachillae 5 (3-9), 21.7 (14.5-34.0) cm long, 6.1 (4.5-8.3) mm in diameter, the surfaces without spiky, fibrous projections or ridges, drying brown or yellow-brown, without short, transverse ridges, not filiform and not narrowed between the flower pits; flower pits spirally arranged, glabrous internally; proximal lips without a central notch before anthesis, not recurved after anthesis, not hood-shaped; proximal and distal lips drying the same color as the rachillae, not joined to form a raised cupule, the proximal lip margins overlapping the distal lip margins; distal lips well-developed; staminate and pistillate petals not emergent, not valvate throughout; staminate flowers deciduous after anthesis; stamens 6; thecae diverging at anthesis, inserted almost directly onto the filament apices, the connectives bifid but scarcely developed; anthers short and curled over at anthesis; non-fertilized pistillate flowers persistent after anthesis; staminodial tubes crenulate at the apex, those of non-fertilized flowers projecting and persistent after anthesis; fruits 13.2 (11.8-15.5) mm long, 10.0 (8.3-11.2) mm in diameter, the bases with a prominent, asymmetric stipe, the apices not conical, the surfaces not splitting at maturity, with fibers emerging, not bumpy, not apiculate; locular epidermis with operculum, smooth, with pores. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Taxonomic notes: - This species was included as a synonym of Geonoma congesta by Henderson et al. (1995), but this placement was disputed by de Nevers & Grayum (1998). While closely related, G. calyptrogynoidea differs from G. congesta by its proximal lips of flower pits without a central notch before anthesis. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.

Subspecific variation: - Two traits (stem branching, leaf division) vary within this species. There is evidence of geographic discontinuity and the species occurs in two areas- eastern Panama and the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador (the gap in southern Colombia is likely to be an artifact of insufficient collecting), and the Magdalena and Cauca valleys in Colombia. The Magdalena and Cauca population has inflorescences with more, longer rachillae, but there are too few specimens to test for differences between the two areas. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10B

Comments and Curiosities

Uses: The leaves of this palm are very tough and durable, so prized for roofing. The vernacular name "sawgrass" refers to the margins of the petioles, which often produce injuries to those collecting the leaves. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.

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).

Henderson, A.J. 2011. A revision of Geonoma. Magnolia Press.

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

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