Tectiphiala H.E.Moore, Gentes Herb. 11: 285 (1978)

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



Biology And Ecology



  • Moderate, solitary or clustered, spiny, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, bearing persistent leaf bases basally, distally free of leaf bases, ringed with leaf scars and abundant long spines with bulbous bases. Leaves pinnate, neatly abscising in mature individuals; sheaths tubular, forming a crownshaft, bearing an untidy ligule, and very densely covered in spines of varying length and abundant dark hairs; petiole rather short, adaxially with short spines, abaxially hairy; rachis bearing stiff hairs on both surfaces or on the adaxial surface alone; leaflets single-fold, very coriaceous, acute, arranged in close or distant fascicles, and fanned within the groups, adaxially glabrous, abaxially with a very dense covering of white scales, the midnerve bearing scattered ramenta, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences solitary, infrafoliar, erect in bud, becoming ± pendulous, branching to 1 order, protandrous; peduncle covered in short spines at the base, above the insertion of the peduncular bract bearing a variety of short to very long spines; prophyll inserted just above the base of the peduncle, tubular, 2-keeled, completely enclosing the inflorescence in bud, splitting along the ventral midline and abscising, densely covered in stiff dark hairs; peduncular bract 1, inserted just above the prophyll, similarly hairy, abscising before anthesis; rachis scarcely evident; rachillae 3–5, congested at the apex of the peduncle, straight or flexuous, flattened and spiny at the base; rachilla bracts arranged in ca. 6 vertical rows throughout most of the rachilla length, prominent, approximate, projecting, saucer-like, rounded, each subtending a triad except at the very tip of the rachilla where subtending solitary or paired staminate flowers; bracteoles surrounding the pistillate flower unequal, one much larger than the other. Staminate flowers asymmetrical, acute, very briefly stalked, obscuring the rachilla bracts; sepals 3, often unequal, acute, briefly connate at the base; petals 3, distinct, strongly nerved when dry, angled, acute, valvate; stamens 6(–7), ± equalling the petals, filaments ± cylindrical, ± twisted and coiled, erect at the tip, anthers dorsifixed, briefly bifid at the tip, deeply bifid at the base, latrorse; pistillode usually apparent, 1/2 as long as the stamens, trifid or oblique. Pollen ellipsoidal symmetric to asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, coarsely perforate and/or rugulate, aperture margin similar or slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 42–66 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers in bud ± obscured by the staminate flowers; sepals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate, ± acute; petals 3, distinct, scarcely exceeding the sepals, broadly imbricate with briefly valvate tips; staminodes 6(–7), small, tooth-like or linear; gynoecium ovoid, unilocular, uniovulate, the stigmas not prominent, ovule large, pendulous, probably hemianatropous. Fruit asymmetrically ovoid, dark blue-black, with apical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, underlain by longitudinal sclereids over a layer of tannin cells, endocarp thin with round basal operculum. Seed attached by an elongate elliptical hilum, raphe branches anastomosing, endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination and eophyll not known. Cytology not studied. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A