Pholidostachys synanthera

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synanthera (sihn-nahn-TEHR-ah)
Jenero Herrera, Peru. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pholidostachys
synanthera (sihn-nahn-TEHR-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Brazil North, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Peru. Photo-L.H. Bailey Hortorium
Colombia to Peru, on both sides of the Andes, mostly at elevations between 500 and 1500 m. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.


Stem 3.3 (1.0-6.0) m long, 5.6 (3.0-22.0) cm in diameter, solitary. Leaves 15 (4-27) per stem; sheaths 32.8 (15.0-74.0) cm long; petioles 70.1 (24.0-136.0) cm long; rachises 84.0 (48.0-124.0) cm long, 8.1 (3.6-12.6) mm diameter; pinnae 10(4-18) per side of rachis; basal pinna 49.6(26.5-67.5) cm, long, 1.7(0.2-7.6) cm wide, forming an angle of 50 (27-72)° with the rachis; apical pinna 45.0 (23.0-65.0) cm long, 10.5 (2.5-22.5) cm wide, forming an angle of 15 (9-24)° with the rachis. Inflorescences branched 1-2 orders, with a well developed peduncle and rachis, and several rachillae, these spreading at anthesis; prophylls and peduncular bracts woody, not covering rachillae at anthesis; prophylls 38.0 (25.5-55.0) cm long; peduncular bracts 32.1 (19.0-41.0) cm long, inserted 8.6 (5.0-12.5) cm above the prophyll; peduncles 44.8 (20.0-70.0) cm long, 11.4 (5.3-19.1) mm diameter; rachilla 12 (4-25), 28.5 (14.0-56.0) cm long, 6.1 (3.7-10.3) mm diameter; proximal lips of flower pits regularly shaped, rounded, not covering pits before anthesis, recurved fruits scarcely compressed, ellipsoid, with obscure longitudinal ridges, 14.3 (10.2-17.7) mm long, 8.4 (6.1-10.5) mm in diameter. (Henderson, A.J. 2012)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Some differences are noted between individuals from the two sides of the Andes. Western plants are very large, with the stem to 12 m tall and 8-15 cm in diameter, and their inflorescences have a long peduncle, almost no rachis, and simple branches. Eastern plants are smaller, typically with the stem less than 5 m tall and only 5-8 cm in diameter, and their inflorescences have a shorter peduncle, a 15-40 cm long rachis, and the lower branches usually bifurcate. (Borchsenius, F. 1998)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos, edric.

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).

Borchsenius, F. 1998. Manual to the palms of Ecuador. AAU Reports 37. Department of Systematic Botany, University of Aarhus, Denmark in collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Catalica del Ecuador.

Henderson, A.J. 2012. A revision of Pholidostachys (Arecaceae).

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

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