Nephrosperma van-houtteanum

From Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
Jump to: navigation, search
Kebun Raya Bogor, Java, Indonesia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Nephrosperma
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Latanier Millepattes

Habitat and Distribution

Nephrosperma van-houtteanum is native to the Seychelles Islands where it
Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Photo by Philippe.
grows near streams in secondary forest, and rocky slopes in open forest. This species is endemic to the Seychelles, where it occurs on at least ten islands. It is currently known from Mahé, Silhouette, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse, St. Anne, Cerf, Moyenne, Conception and Therese (Robertson 1989, Hill 2002, L. Chong Seng pers. comm.). It can be suspected that the species occurs on even more islands (except the extremely small and very dry islands) (J. Mougal pers. comm. 2006). The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy were not determined, but the total area of these 10 islands is 233 km2. In a survey in 1994 the species was found in 48 sites of total 73 surveyed areas of special conservation value (Carlström 1996). This indicates its rather wide intra-island distribution. The current population size is unknown, but it surely exceeds 10,000 mature individuals. It is unlikely that there is a continuing decline. It was a common and abundant species on Mahé and Silhouette in 1942, while it was infrequent on Praslin (Vesey-Fitzgerald in Bailey 1942). Presently, it is locally very abundant in certain areas on Praslin such as Glacis Noir. (


Erect, medium-seized palm tree, 5-13 m tall. It is rather common in open exposed rocky places, by the sides of shady streams and in forest at low and intermediate altitudes. The seeds are successfully dispersed by birds (Dogley and Matatiken 2006). (

An elegant soitary, medium sized palm to 35 ft/10.6 m. The crown contains a graceful grouping of dark green leaves with drooping leaflets. The young plant has spiny petioles that lessen with age. Editing by edric.


This palm is truly tropical in its requirements and is very sensitive to cold. It does best in a warm, moist, and sheltered location with well draining soil that is never allowed to dry. Young plants are capable of tolerating full sun.

Comments and Curiosities

This is a monotypic genus.

Etymology: The specific epithet in honor of; Louis Benoît van Houtte (29 June 1810 Ypres - 9 May 1876 Ghent) was a Belgian horticulturist who was with the Jardin Botanique de Brussels between 1836 and 1838 and is best known for the journal Flore des Serres et des Jardins de l'Europe, produced with Charles Lemaire and M. Scheidweiler, an extensive work boasting more than 2000 coloured plates in 23 volumes published between 1845 and 1883.

In Europe this was once widely used as an indoor plant.

Conservation: The favoured habitat is the low and intermediate altitude. The quality of these habitats is strongly affected by alien invasive species and developments for human settlement. The species is legally protected (Laws of Seychelles 1991) and occurs in the Morne Seychellois and the Praslin National Parks, and St Anne and Curieuse Marine National Park. (

A slender, spiny pinnate palm, native only to the Seychelles Islands. It is well adapted to humid, tropical climates but only rarely seen in cultivation. (

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, edric.

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).

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

Back to Palm Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""