Orania oreophila Essig, Lyonia 1: 225 (1980)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
New Guineapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Papua New Guinea: mountains of the Kainantu Sub-province and Bismarck Mountains in Eastern Highlands Province to mountains of the western part ofMorobe Province. Always at high elevation within a range of approx. 1281 - 1620m(4200 - 5300 feet). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Habitat

  • In Castanopsis dominated highland forest. Recorded from 6°12'S to 6°28'S latitude and 146°02'E to 146°05'E longitude. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Discussion

  • Orania oreophila is one of the smaller members of the genus. It occupies the highest habitat known in the genus. Essig (1980) mentioned the specimen cited in his monograph (Essig LAE 55142), which has an unusual appearance in having large, well-developed bracts on the upper peduncle and subtending the branches. The significance of these characters is uncertain because none of the other specimens has these features (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Conservation

  • Data deficient (DD). The palm is known from only two specimens and we have no recent information on the status of forests at these localities (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Etymology

  • Mountain-loving. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Description

  • Small palm. Trunk c. 5 cm diam. (dbh). Leaves 5 - 6 in the crown, spirally arranged, c. 275 - 310 cm long; leafsheath c. 20 cm long, margins disintegrating into fibres, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense redbrown tomentum; petiole 100 - 120 cm long, with thin red-brown tomentum; rachis 155 to 170 cm long, c. 1 cm diam. in the middle, with dense red-brown tomentum; leaflets elongate-lanceolate, spirally arranged leaflets held in one plane, the proximal 2 leaflets crowded in a group, otherwise c. 7 - 8 cm distant in the middle, 22 - 24 on each side, c. 60 - 78 cm long, 4.5 - 5 cm wide, adaxial surface dark green, glabrous, with red-brown tomentum on midrib, midrib thick, other ribs slender, glabrous, abaxial surface withwhite indumentum, red-brown tomentum on the margin, ribs slender. Inflorescence spreading, branching to 2 orders, covered with red-brown tomentum, no sign of wax; prophyll persistent, c. 26.5 cm long, 4.0 - 4.5 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with thin red-brown tomentum, disintegrating into fibres when old, from upper part down to the base; peduncular bract one, woody, c. 58.5 - 59 cm long, 1.6 - 1.7 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, absent in the old inflorescence; first order branch c. 28 - 30 cm long, rachilla bract c. 3 mm long, rachillae slender, c. 18 - 24 cm long, bearing triads in the proximal 4=5 part and paired staminate flowers in the distal 1=5 part, the basal c. 1 - 1.5 cm devoid of flowers, triads c. 1 - 1.5 cm distant, rachilla glabrous, bearing 48 to 67 flower clusters, the proximal 22 - 37 contains pistillate flowers. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 8 mm long, 2.5 - 3 mm wide; stamens 6, filaments free, dark brown, c. 1 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, pale creamy yellow, c. 3.5 - 4 mm long; pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 5 × 3 mm; staminodes 6, c. 1 mm long, uniform; gynoecium dark brown, c. 3 mm long, stigma with 3 elongate lobes, c. 0.75 mm long. Fruits globose or bilobed, c. 3 - 4.5 cm diam. Embryo placed below middle line of seed. Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Materials Examined

  • NEW GUINEA. Eastern Highlands: Kainantu Sub-province, Saboa, Anandara Village, 20 Jan. 1972, Essig LAE 55147 (BH! holotype, LAE); Kassam Pass, 11 Jan. 1968, Henty & Coode NGF 29245 (L!). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Bibliography

A. A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae