Orania decipiens

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Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
decipiens (deh-sip-EE-enz)
PHILIPPINES: Luzon: Isabela Prov. Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, Palanan municipality, Palanan Forest Dynamics Plot; coordinates of general area; 17 3 32.00 N, 122 25 48.01 E. Photo by Leonardo L. Co, berkeley.edu.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
decipiens (deh-sip-EE-enz)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Angilog (Rizal), bakal (Basilan), banga (Dumagat).

Habitat and Distribution

Widespread species in the Philippines Archipelago, from Luzon Island in the north to
Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, Kāne'ohe, Oahu, Hawaii. Orania decipiens var. 'montana' Photo by Geoff Stein.
Mindanao in the south, excluding Palawan Island. Commonly found in lowland tropical rainforest. Altitude from about 100 - 800 m above sea level. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.


Medium to large palm. Trunk up to 8 m high, c. 10 - 24 cm in diam. breast high. Leaves robust, spirally arranged, about 3 - 5 m long; leaf-sheath about 23 - 35 cm long, 4.7 - 8 cm wide in near the base, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, margins disintegrating into fibres; petiole about 51 - 73 cm long, about 4 - 5 cm in diam., glabrous, or with dense red-brown tomentum, wax present; rachis about 126 - 392 cm long, about 5 cm in diam. in middle part, glabrous or with dense redbrown tomentum, wax present; leaflets elongate - lanceolate, regularly arranged leaflets held in one plane, in old leaflets margins disintegrating, the proximal part with singular smallest leaflet, c. 34 in each side of rachis, distance between 2 leaflets about 5 - 8 cm in middle part, about 1.05 - 1.5 m long, 6 - 7 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, with sparsely wax covering, midrib robust, other ribs less robust, abaxial surface densely covered with white indumentum, sparse red-brown tomentum present on margins, wax present, midrib less robust than adaxial, other ribs more slender. Inflorescence spreading, robust, branching to 2 orders, about 2 - 2.03 m long; peduncle about 84 -84.5 cm long, glabrous, or with dense red-brown tomentum, margins in old inflorescence sometimes found disintegrating to form a mass of fibres; peduncular bract one, woody, persistent, abaxially with dense red-brown tomentum, about 51 - 52 cm long, 5 cm wide, splitting in the middle, disintegrating into fibres when old; rachis about 1.16 - 1.18 m long; first order branch 40 - 70 cm, rachillae bract minute, rachillae slender, zigzagging distally, about 32 - 45 cm long, bearing 77 - 105 flower clusters, bearing triads 1=3 - 1=2 part of rachillae, the basal about 1 - 2.5 cm devoid of flowers, triads about 1 - 1.7 cm distant, obvious pulvinate form in the base of rachilla, rachilla glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, about 6 - 13 mm long, about 1 - 2 mm wide; stamens 6, filaments dark-brown, free, about 0.6 - 1.5 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, free, pale creamy yellow, about 3 - 6 mm long; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, about 3.5 mm long, 2 mm wide; corolla with 3 free petals, about 6 mm long, 2 - 2.5 mm wide; staminodes 6, about 0.6 - 0.7 mm long; gynoecium dark-brown, about 5.5 × 1.5 mm; stigma with 3 slightly elongate lobes, 1.5 mm elongate. Fruit subpyriform, about 3.2 - 4.2 cm in diam., stigmatic remains subbasal, dull green when young, yellowish green when mature; epicarp about 0.5 mm thick; mesocarp fibrous, about 2 - 4 mm thick; endocarp hard, red-brown, about 0.7 - 1 mm thick; endosperm homogenous, white or creamy white, about 2.2 cm in diam., with hollow inside. Embryo placed not very far from its summit (eccentrically apical). Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Genus name; Honors the early 19th century Crown Prince of the Netherlands, F.G.L. Willem van Nassau, Prince of Orange. The specific epithet from the Latin, literally; Deceptive, resembling another species.

Conservation: Vulnerable (VU D2). Although Orania decipiens has a wide extent of occurrence In Luzon and Mindanao, only seven unique localities have been recorded and much of the lowland forest where it occurred has already been destroyed. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.

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).

A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012. A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae).

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

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