Hyphaene dichotoma (White) Furtado, Gard. Bull. Singapore 25: 301 (1970)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Indiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Sri Lankapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B

Discussion

  • Beccari (1908) gave details of this species under H. indica describing the fruit as obovate-pyriform and giving an illustration of its longitudinal section; it could not therefore be allied to H. thebaica though it was long regarded to be that species introduced in Cutch in Gujarat. If the species is not really an indigenous but an introduced palm in India, Beccari suggested searching for .its original parent in Arabia especially in Oman where, according 10 reports noticed by Martius, similar palms were seen growing by .ancient travellers. Later Beccari (1924) showed that the Indian .species is allied to H. macrocarpa (Becc.) Furtado (=H. multiformis .subsp. H. macrocarpa Becc.) from infra-equatorial east Africa.
    The protologue of H. dichotoma given under Borassus dichotomus is as follows:
    "Oka-mundel, covers the whole of Diu Island and is also found in various parts of Goozerat. Mr. Vaupel.
    A solitary tree grows on a Hill at Mazagon [Bombay], and it is branched like the Doum Palm. The fructifications have not been examined. See a sketch of the tree, Madras Joumal of Science. N."
    Now, Hooker (1893) and others regarded this species to have been based on an abnormal branching of Borassus flabellifer; he therefore reduced the former to a synonym of the latter. How., ever, the phrase "it is branched like the Doum Palm" should be taken to mean that the palm produces (perhaps repeatedly) dichotomous branches as in the Doum and one should not expect abnormal branching (if such were really the case) to occur uniformly in all the palms from the Diu Island and from the various parts of Gujarat. Martius (1850) who accepted the species as new remarked that the palm in Bombay was brought by Parsis from Gujarat and could easily be distinguished from B. flabellifer. Besides, monstrous branching in the latter species, he stressed, was irregular and is rare even on the Coromandel of India, where the species is common. Martius added a new locality, Admedabad (also in Gujarat) where Baron von Hugel (Car. =a misprint for Bar.) had collected the specimens.
    Gammie (fide Beccari) suggested that this species occurred as far south as Goa and Blatter 1926 published a plate of a palm growing at Bassein north of Bombay. (Furtado, C.X. 1970. Asian Species of Hyphaene. Gardens' Bulletin of Singapore 25: 299-309)A