Caryota kiriwongensis Hodel, Palms (1999+) 53: 171 (2009)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Thailand

Discussion

  • Not a gregarious species, only about 50 large plants of Caryota kiriwongensis are scattered across the bottoms of steep, rocky slopes in an area about five kilometers wide in wet mountain forest at about 1200 m elevation. In 1998 only a few plants were reproductive and there were few seedlings and saplings. The species may now be in cultivation and, by its sheer size alone, would obviously make an outstanding ornamental in an appropriate landscape or garden setting. (Hodel, D.R., Caryota kiriwongensis Revisited in Palms (1999+) 53(4). 2009)A

Description

  • Caryota kiriwongensis is a massive, solitary, emergent, monoecious, monocarpic tree palm to 35 m tall. The gray trunk is about 85 cm in diameter and uniform throughout its length or only slightly ventricose. The immense leaves are clustered tightly in a spreading crown at the top of the trunk and the blade alone is over 8 m long. Each leaf has up to 25 twice divided pinnae to 3.5 m long with only slightly drooping tips on each side of the rachis. The pendulous inflorescence is only about 2.5 m long, making it much shorter than that of the similar C. obtusa. Abundant, long, reddish brown, non-appressed hairs cover the flowers. The purplish red fruits, 2.6 × 3.3 cm, typically contain two, scarcely grooved seeds with homogeneous endosperm. The homogeneous endosperm is unusual for the genus and occurs elsewhere only in C. ophiopellis and C. zebrina, two species amply distinct in their conspicuously and colorfully marked petioles. The pinnate eophyll is unique for the genus (Hodel 1999). (Hodel, D.R., Caryota kiriwongensis Revisited in Palms (1999+) 53(4). 2009)A

Materials Examined

  • Thailand. Nakhon Si Thammarat: Kiriwong, Hodel et al. 1809 (Holotypus BK, Isotypus BH.). (Hodel, D.R., Caryota kiriwongensis Revisited in Palms (1999+) 53(4). 2009)A

Bibliography

A. Hodel, D.R., Caryota kiriwongensis Revisited in Palms (1999+) 53(4). 2009