Ravenea lakatra

From Palmpedia - Palm Grower's Guide
Jump to: navigation, search
Ravenea (rah-vehn-EH-ah)
lakatra (lah-KAHT-rah)
Photo by Dr. Charles Rakotovao, MBG-Madagascar/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Uploaded by Dr. Romer Rabarijaona (curator), Kew, Madagascar Conservation Centre.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Ravenea (rah-vehn-EH-ah)
lakatra (lah-KAHT-rah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Lakatra; Tsilanitafika (cannot be cut down by an army), Ironwood Palm; (Eng.)

Habitat and Distribution

Endemic to east Madagascar, from between Masoala and Vangaindrano.
Manombo, Madagascar. Photo by Dr. Henk Beentje, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
Moist lowland forest on slight mid slope or ridge crest; alt. 90-850 m. Ravenea lakatra Occurs in moist lowland forest on slight mid slopes or ridge crests from 50 to 1,200 m.


Moderate-sized solitary palm. TRUNK 4.5-14 m high, 13-17 cm in diam., to 11 cm across near the crown; nodal scars about 1 cm (to 3.5 cm near crown), internodes 10-16 cm (about 2 cm near crown), light brown; wood very hard, with black fibre layer; sheath remnants clothing distal part of trunk; short, erect woody sheath base remnants set at nodes over the whole length of trunk, very hard, to 7 cm long; base of crown about 22 cm across. LEAVES 8-10 in the crown, porrect, slightly arching, held on edge in distal part of leaf; sheath 75-80 x 16 cm, with down-pointing fibres on margins, white-tomentose, with black internal fibres; petiole 80-160 cm, proximally 5-6 x 3-6 cm across, distally 4 x 3 cm across, channelled, with very sharp (almost sawtooth) edges, proximally closely den- ticulate, with white or grey tomentum but glabrescent; rachis 2.3-3.5 m, in mid-leaf 1.2-2.2 x 1.3 cm, with white to grey tomentum but quickly glabrescent; leaflets stiff, in one plane, mid-green, 87-98 on each side of the rachis, the proximal 42-102 x 0.8-3.8 cm, the median 66-77 x 2.7-4.7 cm (interval 3-4 cm), distal 23-49 x 0.7-2.3 cm, few small ramenta near the rachis, but these deciduous, sinuous transverse veinlets clearly visible. STAMINATE INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, solitary, branched to 1 order (only seen as dead); peduncle not seen; prophyll not seen; peduncular bracts seen 89, 103 cm; rachis about 92 cm; rachillae 6-30 cm, 1-1.5 mm across; pedicel 1.2-1.6 mm. STAMINATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 1 mm, with free lobes 0.8 x 0.2-0.3 mm; petals probably connate for 1.8 mm, free lobes 5-5.5 x 1.3 mm; stamens ? in 2 series, the epipetalous ones adnate for/inserted at 2.2-2.5 mm, the filaments absent, the anthers 1.5 x 0.5 mm. PISTILLATE INFLORESCENCE solitary, erect, interfoliar among old leaf bases in fruit, branched to 1 order; peduncle 82-130 cm, proximally 3.5-4 x 1.5-2 cm, distally 2.5 x 1.5 cm, densely white-brown pubescent; prophyll 10-25 x 5 cm, tattering, white, membranous; peduncular bracts 20-43 cm, 30-40 cm (inserted at 22-24 cm from the base of the peduncle), 140 cm (inserted at 48 cm), 88-119 cm (inserted at 60-87 cm), all densely white- to brown-pubescent abaxially, glabrous adaxially; rachis 44-86 cm, white-tomentose, with 50-70 porrect rachillae; rachillae 7-65 cm, 2 mm across, sinuous, proximally 11 x 5 mm; pedicels 3-6 mm; bracteole 1.5 x 1.5 mm, connate for up to 1 mm. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the calyx connate for 2-2.5 mm, 3.5 mm across, the free lobes 0.8-2 x 0.9-1.2 mm; petals 5-8 x 2.5-5.5 mm. FRUIT blackish, slightly depressed globose, 15-20 x 18-21 mm, with terminal stigmatic remains, 1-/2/3-seeded; each seed with sclerified layer 8-11 mm and 6-10.6 mm across with sharp distal acumen 2.5-3 mm, the layer 0.3-0.35 mm thick. SEED 9-10 mm, 5-10 mm across, with distal acumen of 1.5 mm; seedcoat black, 0.2 mm thick. (J. Dransfield and H. Beentje. 1995)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a

Comments and Curiosities

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).

Dransfield, J. & Beentje, H. 1995. The Palms of Madagascar. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The International Palm Society.

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

Back to Palm Encyclopedia

Retrieved from "https://palmpedia.net/wiki/index.php5?title=Ravenea_lakatra&oldid=153946"