Leopoldinia pulchra

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pulchra (POOL-krah)
Habitat - Amazonia - Photos: Don Kittleson.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Leopoldinia
pulchra (POOL-krah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Brazil North, Colombia, and Venezuela. From 6°48'N-7°58'S and 54°04'-68°03'W in the
Habitat - Amazonia - Photos: Don Kittleson.
central Amazon region of Brazil (Amazonas, Pará), Colombia (Guainía, Vichada), and Venezuela (Amazonas, Apure) at (35+) 112 (-200) m elevation along the margins of black water rivers, the bases of the stems often underwater at highest water. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb.


Plants (2.0+) 4.0 (-7.0) m tall; stems (2.0+) 3.8 (-7.0) m tall, (4.0+) 7.2 (-10.0) cm diameter, solitary or clustered. Leaves (5+) 13 (-25) per crown; sheaths (20.0+) 27.0 (-37.0) cm long, fibers from apices short, joined into a solid, woody tip; petioles (31.0+) 46.2 (-63.0) cm long; rachises (48.5+) 85.1 (-150.0) cm long, (4.9+) 7.8 (-12.6) mm diameter; pinnae (14+) 22 (-40) per side of rachis, spreading horizontally, the bases narrowed with abaxial, distal and proximal swellings adjacent to rachis, midveins prominent and raised in cross-section adaxially; basal pinna (23.5+) 35.6 (-67.0) cm long, (0.1+) 0.5 (-1.5) cm wide, forming an angle of (66+) 102 (-130)° with the rachis; apical pinna (9.6+) 17.3 (-28.5) cm long, (0.2+) 1.2 (-4.0) cm wide, forming an angle of (1+) 8 (-24)° with the rachis. Inflorescences monomorphic; prophylls (21.0+) 32.0 (-40.0) cm long; peduncular bracts (15.0+) 25.0 (-35.0) cm long, inserted (3.5+) 6.1 (-8.8) cm above the prophyll; peduncles (21.0+) 28.5 (-35.0) cm long, (7.6+) 13.9 (-18.5) mm diameter; staminate rachillae (0.9+) 1.7 (-2.7) cm long; pistillate rachillae (2.5+) 4.6 (-8.0) cm long; fruits (20.4+) 28.4 (-40.6) mm long, (18.1+) 26.4 (-36.2) mm diameter, flattened, globose to obovoid in side view, the surfaces with raised, reticulate ridges from mesocarp fibers, giving a wrinkled appearance. (Henderson, A.J. 2011)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

'Chiqui-chiqui' is a delightful local name of this interesting and highly unusual palm, from Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. In years gone by the long fine fibres produced as the leaf sheaths disintegrate were an important item of commerce, exported as far afield as Europe for the manufacture of brooms and brushes. Leopoldinia is a handsome palm with a slim trunk and elegant feather shaped leaves; the hairy trunk is unmistakable. It requires tropical conditions with an abundance of water, but also makes a fascinating conservatory palm, rarely seen in cultivation. (RPS.com)

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).

Henderson, A.J. 2011. A revision of Leopoldinia (Arecaceae).
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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