Roystonea maisiana (L.H.Bailey) Zona, Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 71: 22 (1996)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Cubapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to the Maisí region of the province of Guantánamo, eastern Cuba, at 350-420 m altitude. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Discussion

  • A copy of a letter from Bailey to León dated 8 Jan 1943 (preserved with the holotype at BH) suggests that León believed Bailey's variety was described from a mixed specimen. Liogier (1969), in a note in the supplement to the Flora of Cuba, rejected R. regia var. maisiana, indicating that it was a nomen nudum based on a mixed collection. León and Liogier did not reveal which other species they believed comprised the mixed collection. Liogier's treatment of this taxon
    was apparently followed by subsequent workers including Muñiz and Borhidi (1982). However, collections of the endemic Cuban Roystonea made recently in Maisí (Zona, 1991) clarify the confusion surrounding the type of R. regia var. maisiana and give some clue as to why Liogier rejected this taxon.
    First, this name is certainly not a nomen nudum: Bailey (1935) provided as accurate a description as was possible from his scanty collections. He provided a Latin diagnosis, a description of vegetative and reproductive parts, and even a photograph of the palm, leaving little doubt that he was describing the slender palms endemic to Maisí. The name cannot be rejected as a nomen nudum.
    The second aspect of Liogier's argument, that the type of R. regia var. maisiana is a mixed collection, is predicated on Liogier's knowledge of another Maisí endemic, the violet-trunked R. vialacea. The type of R. vialacea (Leon & Seifriz 18280) is composed of vegetative material that agrees in all details with that of recent collections of violet-trunked individuals.
    Flowers and fruits from the type sheet, however, match those taken from slender palms that must be R. regia var. maisiana. In fact, a packet of staminateflowers included with the isotype at US bears the anonymous annotation "maisialla." It now seems apparent that it is León's type of R. vialacea that is a mixed collection, containing elements belonging to R. regia var. maisiana, and that the description of R. violacea drawn from this mixture is what led to Liogier's confusion about the identity of R. regia var. maisiana. Thus, Bailey's taxon stands, and León's R. violacea (q.v.) requires lectotypification and recircumscription. Because this taxon does not seem to be phylogenetically close to R. regia (see under "Evolutionary Relationships and Biogeography"), it is here elevated to specific rank. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Common Name

  • Palma negra. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Uses

  • The palm is used, as other species are in eastern Cuba, for timber, thatch, and hog feed. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Description

  • Trunk gray-white, to 20 m tall , 26-40(-51) cm diam.
    Leaves ca. 15, lowest leaves hanging below the horizontal; crownshaft ca. 1.5 m long; rachis ca. 4.8 m long; middle segments 106-118 cm long and 4.2-4.9 cm wide.
    Inflorescence 0.8-1.1 m long and ca. 1 m wide; prophyll and peduncular bract not seen; rachillae 20-24 em long and 1.2-2.1 mm diam. Staminate flowers white, sepals triangular, 1-1.4 mm long and 1.3-1.5 mm wide; petals elliptical to ovate, 4.2- 5.7 mm long and 2,5- 2.9 mm wide; stamens 6, 3.7-6.5 mm long, filaments awl-shaped, 2.4-4.4 mm long, anthers 2.5-4.2 mm long; pistillode minute. Pistillate flowers white, 2-3.5 per cm; sepals reniform, 1.3- 1.7 mm long and 2.5-3.5 mm wide; petals ovate, 2.7-3.5 mm long; staminode 6-lobed, 2.1- 2.3 mm long, free for 0.7-1 mm; gynoecium 2.3-2.6 mm long and 1.7-2.2 mm diam.
    Fruits ellipsoid, gibbous, 10-13.7 mm long, 7.9-9.2 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 7.5-9.5 mm wide; epicarp black, stigmatic scar plain; endocarp ellipsoid, 8.8-10.3 mm long, 5.9-7.4 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 5.8-7.4 mm wide; seed ellipsoid, 7.6-10 mm long, 4.6-5.9 mm dorsiventral thickness, and 5.2-6.8 mm wide; raphe circular. Eophyll linear-lanceolate, 12-15 cm long and 1.2-2.2 cm wide, stipitate, short costate. (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Materials Examined

  • CUBA. GUANTÁNAMO: Mpio. Maisi, Los Llanos de Maisi, Zona et al. 393 (FLAS, HAJB, RSA), Zona et al. 393a (fr) (FLAS), León & Seifriz 18280 (n, fr) (HAC); Puriales Abajo, lima & Moreno 395 (fr) (FLAS, HAJB). (Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.)A

Bibliography

    A. Zona, S. 1996. Roystonea.(Arecaceae: Arecoideae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 71, 1-35.
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae