| Hydriastele (hy-dree-Ah-STEL-eh) |
Towards north Biak, Papua, Biak, Indonesia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
(Sumuri), Poi (Wapi), Tab (Timbunke), Tabavo Nyi (Unknown dialect, North Cyclops Mts. area), Tabuh (Maprik),Yawa (Ambakanja).
Habitat and DistributionUbiquitous in lowland New Guinea, also found in the Aru Islands, Bismarck Archipelago,
Distribution:—Widely distributed in the north eastern portion of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia, and throughout lowland New Guinea and adjacent islands. Also reported from the Bismarck Archipelago (Essig 1982). PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Habitat:—Primary or secondary lowland rainforest often on swampy ground, or more infrequently lower montane forest on less waterlogged ridges and slopes, 0–700 m. PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Solitary, robust to very robust palm, to 35 m tall bearing 12–25 leaves in crown, crown distinctively spherical. Stem 15–35 cm in diam. Leaf 2.4–5.5 m long including petiole; sheath 50–180 cm long; petiole 10–60 cm long; rachis straight or slightly drooping; leaflets 58–75 per side, arranged regularly, single-fold, pendulous, linear and acuminate to briefly bifid apically; with ramenta attached to the basal portion of the abaxial side of the midrib; middle leaflet 90–130 × 3–5 cm. Inflorescence 58–100 cm long including 5–25 cm peduncle, branched to 2 or 3 orders, apparently protogynous; triads 1–5 mm apart, opposite and decussate. Staminate flower 6–8 × 2–3 mm in bud, white to brownish; stamens 6, not exposed in bud. Pistillate flower about 2 × 2.5–3 mm in bud, cream, with free sepals and free, low and ± rounded petals. Fruit ca. 8–10 × 6 mm when ripe, ellipsoid, ripening through reddish brown to dark purple or blackish maroon, with conspicuous longitudinal white-greyish stripes, with inconspicuous sclerotic zone encircling apical stigmatic remains (up to ca. 1 mm in diam.). Seed about 5.5 × 4.5 mm, ellipsoid, costate; endosperm homogeneous. PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Notes:—Hydriastele costata is the commonest lowland tree palm in New Guinea. It is immediately recognisable as a canopy emergent with a distinctive, spherical crown of more-or-less straight leaves with pendulous leaflets. Its highly distinctive longitudinally striped fruits with costate seeds are not seen in any other member of the genus. Hydriastele costata has a similar habit to H. procera and H. wosimiensis from the Longispatha group. Hydriastele costata appears to be most similar to H. moluccana, a rarely collected species known from North Maluku Province in Indonesia. Hydriastele costata is distinguished from this species primarily by its striped fruits with costate seeds (see Essig 1982). PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press
Tall, moderate palm to 20 m or more in height; stem 20-30 cm in diameter; leaf sheath 75-150 cm long, green, tinged with lilac, glabrous to finely light-brown tomentose near the tip, petiole3 5-60 cm long, blade 220-420 cm long, petiole and rachis finely white-woolly and brown-lepidote above and below, pinnae pendulous, 43-77 on each side, 97-127 cm long, 5.5 cm wide with the apex deeply bifid (or hooded in life), upper surface glabrous, lower surface minutely brown-dotted and with large, whitish, basifixed ramenta along the lower third of the midrib. Inflorescence branching to 2-3 orders, 70-125 cm long, the upper peduncular and rameal bracts rudimentary, triangular to 6 mm long or represented only by horizontal scars; rachillae straight or sometimes somewhat flexuous, to 62 cm long, 2-3 mm thick, bearing up to 280 triads Staminate flowers cream-colored, soapy scented, 6-7 mm long, stamens 6, shorter than the petals, pistillate flowers 1.5 mm high, flushed with pink; fruit 7-9 X 4.5-5 mm, blue-gray with whitish stripes over prominent fibrous ribs; endosperm homogeneous. (Frederick B. Essig 1973) Editing by edric.
Hydriastele costata is one of the most common and abundant palms in lowland New Cuinea. The species occurs on mesic, well-drained soils in hilly terrain as well as in swampy or seasonally flooded situations, Hydriastele affinis was described from a specimen collected in the Sepik River Basin in an alluvial forest near Mt. Hunstein. It differed from Hydriastele costata supposedly in that the petals of the staminate flowers were drawn out into lone bristle-like tips. Fruil were lacking from the specimen, but in other important respects, Beccari's description conforms to Hydriastele costata. The habitat, overall dimensions, nature of the foliage, number of stamens, size of the flowers, plus the fact that Gulubia costata is abundant in the upper Sepik Basin, all suggest that the unusual shape of petals in Hydriastele affinis represents a minor variation in the broadly distributed species. The several varieties that were described also appear to be based on minor variations of no laxonomic significance. Hydriastele costata var. minor, collected from the Aru Islands, not far from the type locality of the species,h as somewhat smaller overall dimensions, as well as smaller fruit. Hydriastele costata var. gralcilior was based on a very similar specimen from western Papua. In the collection notes for the latter specimen, Brass indicated that the individual was extremely tall. Leaves, inflorescences and fruit frequently become smaller as palms get taller. Hydriastele costata var. pisifornlis was based on a specimen cultivated at Bogor, which had fruit somewhat more globose than the typical form. There is no evidence that this corresponds to a naturally occurring variation worthy of taxonomic status. (Frederick B. Essig 1973)
H. costdta clearly stands out because of the presence of very large fibrovascular bundles, alternating with much smaller ones, that give the fruit a ribbed appearance. (Frederick B. Essig 1973)
Hydriastele costata F. M. Bailey was first described by Beccari in 1877 as Kentia costata Becc. It was later transferred to Beccari’s genus Gulubia as G. costata (Becc.) Becc., the name and authority by which it has been widely known for many years (Beccari 1885). By coincidence, in describing H. costata in 1898, Bailey chose the species epithet costata quite independently of Beccari’s use of it. Although both H. costata and G. costata (syn. K. costata) refer to the same species, they are based on different types. Bailey was quite unaware of the duplication until Beccari personally brought it to his attention (Bailey 1909). Beccari (1910) indicated in print that the two names were synonymous, but this has been erroneously interpreted by Chapman (1991)as a recombination by Beccari of Bailey’s epithet in Gulubia to give an illegitimate later homonym G. costata (F. M. Bailey) Becc. However, Beccari’s words were, in fact, misconstrued by Chapman and merely indicated that H. costata was synonymous with his G. costata (Becc.) Becc. Thus, the combination G. costata (F. M. Bailey) Becc. has never been validly published. Several collections were cited in the protologue of Kentia microcarpa (K. Schum. & Lauterb.) Warb. ex K. Schum. & Lauterb. We have selected a lectotype which we know to be extant in Leiden. Beccari’s hand-written label on the isolectotype fragment in Florence indicates that Warburg rather than Lauterbach was the collector, although all other details match the information in the protologue and on the lectotype in Leiden. The citation of Warburg as collector most likely represents an error made by Beccari in transcription. (W.J. Baker and A.H.B. Loo. 2004)/Palmweb.
Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b
Comments and Curiosities
Uses:—Stems and leaves used for flooring and house construction, leaf sheaths used as basins for water buckets, carrying baskets, sago containers and plates, indumentum used as firelighter and old inflorescences as brushes. The palm heart is consumed. Commonly planted near villages. PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Vernacular names:—Avos/Afos (Miyah), Bay (Marap), Kaparo (Wandamen), Korr (Jal), Mabla (Orne), Oratare (Sumuri), Poi (Wapi), Tab (Timbunke), Tabavo Nyi (Unknown dialect, North Cyclops Mts. area), Tabuh (Maprik), Yawa (Ambakanja). PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Conservation status:—Least Concern (LC). Hydriastele costata is widely distributed (EOO > 1,360,000 km2 ) and common. The AOO (136 km2 ) is higher than for most other species within the genus yet still likely to be a conservative figure. PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
In Queensland H. costata occurs in a few sites on the extreme north of Cape York Peninsula, in the township of Bamaga and through the "Four Mile Scrub" along the road to Somerset, along several streams draining into Newcastle Bay just south of Somerset and sporadically in various other sites in that region. Further south along the east coast of the Peninsula there are several populations around Iron Range in the Lockhart River region. Around Bamaga the palm attains its best form, it is a tall and very handsome single trunked tree reaching to 30 m or more. It favours moist places on seasonally flooded flats or on steep slopes in volcanic soils.
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- Click on Arecaceae in the index
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).
Frederick B. Essig, University of South Florida, Tampa Florida.
Baker, W.J. & Loo, A.H.B. 2004. A synopsis of the genus Hydriastele (Arecaceae). Kew Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 61-68.
PETER PETOE, CHARLIE D. HEATUBUN & WILLIAM J. BAKER Phytotaxa 370 (1) © 2018 Magnolia Press.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.