Iguanura asli

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Iguanura (ig-oo-ah-NOOR-ah)
asli (AHS-lee)
Rare Palm Seeds.com. Photo courtesy Clayton York, Utopia Palms & Cycads, edric.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Iguanura (ig-oo-ah-NOOR-ah)
asli (AHS-lee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary, but caespitose.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Malaya. Johor, Pahang, Terengganu; not rare, in low hill forests, riverine swamp.

Port Barton, Palawan, Philippines. Photo by bikoro child, edric.


Caespitose. with dominant stems from 1.5-2.5m. leaves marcescent, divided. similar to I. geonomiformis, variable in numbers and loaflet widths: inflorescence branching two to nine. rarely sub-branching, often curled interfoliar, with short tomentose peduncle enclosed in the leaf sheath: fruit globose. 4-Xmm. Immature pink ripening brilliant candy pink: flowers and seed not examined. (Lim C.K. 1996)

This is indeed a widespread species found from Terengganu to Johor where it might have been taken to be a form of I. wallichiana although it is usually within I. geonomiformis erritory. lndeed the habit and leaf variations are visually more similar to the latter. We later recalled that we had found and photographed examples in other locations, mainly within Johor. which we had assumed to be I. wallichiana. There have indeed been earlier collections, and within the Singapore Herbarium, Holttum's specimen (9476) is an example. Kiew's observations on fruit colour variations in her ssp. malaccensis, (Kiew 1976: 221) is obviously of this new species. In the Rompin area, the brilliant candy pink fruit often rivals adjacent Licuala ferruginea not only in colour. but sometimes in size and robustness of the rachillae and fruit. The inflorescence, although variable. is apparently distinct from the other taxa, usually curled among the leaf petioles, with the peduncles mainly enclosed within the leaf sheath. (Lim C.K. 1996)


Warm, sheltered and moist. Tropics or warm sub-tropics. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: The inspiration for the name arose out of encountering the aboriginal groups living near to the first fruiting populations that we saw; it was also determined within the Year of the Indigenous (Orang Asli) Peoples. (Lim C.K. 1996)

A magnificent, small, understory palm from rainforests in peninsular Malaysia that sports a very unusual leaf with a very large pair of terminal leaflets and below that two pairs of narrow leaflets. Best for a protected spot in the tropical garden. (RPS.com) Editing by edric.

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).

Lim C.K. 1996. Unravelling Iguanura B1. (Palmae) in Peninsular Malaysia.

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

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