Asterogyne guianensis

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Asterogyne (ahs-tehr-roh-GEE-neh)
guianensis (gwee-ah-NEN-sis)
Guy asterogyne guianensis plante adulte st georges de l27oyapoc.jpg
St. Georges Creek, Gabaret, French Guiana.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Asterogyne (ahs-tehr-roh-GEE-neh)
guianensis (gwee-ah-NEN-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Entire undivided bifid.
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Asterogyne guianensis is endemic to French Guiana.
St. Georges Creek, Gabaret, French Guiana.


Stem solitary, erect, 1.5-2 m tall, 3.4-5 cm in diam, with very short internodes, at base with a loose cone to 1 m high of thin, branched, yellowish-brown, adventitious roots, these bearing white, conical, minute pneumatodes. Leaves 2 to 5 -18, older ones arching, younger ones more or less erect; sheath and petiole to 6 cm long, 1 cm in diam. at mid-point, shallowly channeled adaxially, rounded abaxially, green, covered with deciduous brown scales, glabrescent; rachis 8-9 cm long, with similar scales to those of petiole; blade entire, membranous, oblanceolate, cuneate at base, deeply bifid at apex, 10-1 1 cm long, 3.5-4 dm wide at apex of rachis, green adaxially, lighter green abaxially; primary veins about 25 per side, emerging at 30" angle from the rachis, prominent abaxially. Inflorescence spicate, to 8.5 cm long, erect and interfoliar at anthesis, becoming pendulous as fruits develop; peduncle 5-5.5 cm long, about 0.5 cm wide, dorsiventrally compressed, densely brown-tomentose; prophyll membranous, tubular, about 2 cm long, inserted at base of peduncle; peduncular bract tubular, green, 4-4.2 cm long, inserted near base of peduncle; rachis not dorsiventrally compressed, pale green at anthesis and becoming reddish-brown in fruit, 2.6-3 cm long, 1.5 cm in diam., very densely whitish- and brownish-tomentose; flower pits spirally arranged in 7 series, each pit about 5 mm apart, covered with a reflexed, rounded lower lip; triads surrounded by 3 bracteoles; staminate flowers 10 mm long, white at anthesis; sepals 3, free, imbricate, 7 mm long, glumaceous, keeled, 1 much wider than the other 2; petals 3, connate below, free and valvate above, 8 mm long, glumaceous; stamens 25 or 26; filaments united below into a tube, free above; anthers 1.5 mm long, inflexed in bud, thecae separate and terminal on the arms of the bifid connective; pistillode prominent, to 2 mm long, trifid; pistillate flowers about 5 mm long in bud; sepals 3, free, imbricate, 4 mm long, glumaceous, keeled, 1 much wider than the other 2; petals 3, connate below, free and valvate above, about 4 mm long; staminodes united below into a tube, free above with ca 2 1 dentiform lobes; ovary 3-locular; style terminal, about 3 mm long; fruit narrowly ellipsoid, strongly keeled apically, 25 X 15 mm; epicarp garnet red and shiny at maturity; mesocarp fleshy and juicy; seed narrowly ellipsoid, 20 x 8 mm, with homogenous endosperm, germinating in 140 days; eophyll entire with bifid apex.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b.

Comments and Curiosities

Among the 80 species of palms that are in Guiana, by our current knowledge, Asterogyne guianensis is one of only endemic to this area, other species occurr in neighboring countries as well. It is also the only Guianese palm with the name Guiana in it. With entire undivided bifid leaves, this small palm of the undergrowth is of exceptional beauty.

The species Asterogyne guianensis was described by the botanist Jean-Jacques de Granville, honorary director of the herbarium of Cayenne in 1988! It is only known from 3 locations in Guiana (or in the world), one location was discovered by a Ti-Palm member'in 2007. This species is protected by law.

External Links


All information translated from the French, edric.

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.

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.

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