Orania longisquama (Jum.) J.Dransf. & N.W.Uhl, Principes 28: 164 (1984)

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Introduction

  • From a distance this palm looks slightly like Ravenea madagascariensis, but on closer inspection can immediately be distinguished by the praemorse leaflet tips. This species can be quite variable in size, from a compact, small palm to a canopy tree. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Madagascarpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)C
Madagascar, mainly on the eastern part of the island facing the Indian Ocean. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

NW and E Madagascar. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Habitat

  • Lowland to highland tropical rain forest 50 -550 m above sea level. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Discussion

  • The leaf sheath sometimes splits to leave a tongue-like structure, reaching up to the proximal leaflets, producing an apparent petiole. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Prior to this study Dransfield & Beentje (1995) did not include the number and size of pistillate flowers as distinctive characters in their determination key. One of the specimens examined, Beentje 4493, has a structure extending from the leaf-sheath reaching the distal part of the petiole. In some way it is similar to a ligule, but Orania is otherwise not known to have a ligule. Dransfield & Beentje (1995) explained this as the leaf-sheath being split to give a tongue-like structure, reaching up to the proximal leaflets producing an apparent petiole. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Biology And Ecology

  • Lowland rain forest; slope base, mid slope or ridge-crest; 40-550 m. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A

Conservation

  • Rare. Fairly widespread, though nowhere really common. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Least concern (LC) (M. Rakotoarinivo pers. comm.). Orania longisquama occurs throughout the lowland forests of eastern Madagascar almost to its southern tip, with a wide extent of occurrence of 151,841 km2 and area of occupancy. It is sometimes locally abundant. Several of its localities are within protected areas. Being thought to be poisonous, the palm is not harvested for palm heart by local people. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Common Name

  • Sindro, Anivona, Ovobolafotsy (Betsimisaraka), Vakapasy (Antaimoro); (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Anivona (Betsimisaraka), ovobola fotsy (Toamasina), sindro (Maroantsetra). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Etymology

  • Long scales, regarding the presence of ramenta. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Uses

  • Palm heart not edible or even said to be poisonous; HB has drunk some fruit sap without any ill effects. Wood used for house walls. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Leaves are used for house thatching, trunk for house building. Apex is said to be poisonous. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Description

  • Solitary palm. TRUNK 4–20 m high, 10–25 cm diam., often with surface roots and a basal boss to 40 cm diam.; internodes 5–10 cm long, near the crown 1–2 cm long, brown, often with a reddishgreen indumentum; nodal scars obvious or obscure, 1–6 cm high. Crownshaft absent. Wood yellowish, hard through a dense ring of reddish fibres just inside the bark. LEAVES spirally inserted, (6–7 fide Perrier) 8–15 (rarely with a few marcescent leaves), arching, slightly held on edge in their distal part; base of crown bulbous, 16–30 cm across; sheath 26–40 cm long, green with white indumentum turning pale brown to rusty on exposure, interface with petiole continuous, with a few marginal fibres; sheath and petiole together 80–103 cm; apparent petiole 33–120 cm long, 3–5.5 x 2.5–4 cm diam., channelled, (pale) red-brown, with a pale dense indumentum and fibrous margins; rachis 1.3–2 m long, channelled in the proximal part, in mid-leaf 2–3 x 1–1.3 cm and keeled, white- to reddish-brown-pubescent or with scattered pale scales or with white bloom; leaflets regular, 47–65 on each side of the rachis, stiff or not very stiff, those on opposite sides of the rachis at an angle of 60–120 with each other, the proximal 38–84 x 0.4–4.5 cm, median 56–88 x 1.7–5 cm (interval 1.5–4 cm), distal 3.5–32 x 0.5–2.7 cm, mid-green, with yellow veins adaxially, with a thin whitish covering abaxially, main vein 1, with large (15–25 mm long) red-brown to whitish ramenta in patches to almost continuous along the midrib (rarely absent, HB 4730), with lines of scattered scales along the minor veins, bases sometimes thickened (HB 4616), apices praemorse, distal pair connate for 0.5–5 cm. INFLORESCENCE interfoliar, branching to 3 orders, erect to arching, with spreading branches (to almost pendulous in fruit); peduncle 25–50 cm long, proximally 3.5–10 x 2–6 cm diam., green with much red to brown pubescence; prophyll 26–45 cm long, 6–12 cm wide, borne 4–5 cm above the base of the peduncle, split abaxially, with toothed margins, green, brown-lepidote; peduncular bracts one or two (one in HB 4706, 4730, two in HB 4616, JD 6479), quickly deciduous, inserted at respectively 7–16 and 13–21 cm from the base of the peduncle, each 55–72 cm long and 6–14 cm wide, beaked for 6–12 cm, thin red-pubescent; rachis 58–69 cm long, zigzag, with scattered brown scales, with 12–22 branched and 6–12 unbranched first order branches, the proximal of these with an axis of up to 35 cm long and 1.8–4 x 0.6–2.2 cm diam., with up to 20 second order branches; rachillae pale green, turning blushing pink in fruit, 8–36 cm long (possibly lengthening in fruit stage), 3–7 mm diam., glabrous or with scattered red scales; triads distant. STAMINATE FLOWERS with the sepals connate for 0.6–0.8 mm, free for 1.6–2.2 mm, 1.3–1.8 mm wide; petals 5.5–9.5 x 3–4.5 mm; stamens 12–20 (possibly in three antepetalous bundles– sometimes falling off in equal groups, with the removal of the petal), filaments 0.8–1.5 mm long with slightly bulbous base, anthers almost basifixed, 3–6 x 0.7–1 mm, some unequally sagittate, others equally sagittate; pistillode not seen. PISTILLATE FLOWERS with the sepals 1.3–3.2 x 2.2–5.2 mm; petals 3.5–7 x 3.6–6.7 mm, fleshy; staminodes 8–10, 1–2.5 mm long, narrowly triangular; ovary 3–9 mm high, 3.2–14 mm diam., with three styles 0.5–1 mm long and papillose or pubescent. FRUIT green, globose or obovoid, occasionally (as in JD 6375) 2- or 3-lobed, or with two abortive lobes basally, 4–5.5 x 3–4.5 cm. SEED globose with a basal conical bump, 3.1–4.4 x 3.2–4.2 cm, with large central lacuna when almost mature, this filled with sweet to slightly bitter fluid, later turning to homogeneous endosperm. GERMINATING SEEDS with elongate white cotyledonary petiole. (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Large palm. Trunk 7 - 20 m tall, c. 13 - 25 cm diam. (dbh), swollen at the base, internodes c. 7 - 10 cm, brown, scars irregular, c. 3 - 6 cm, brighter coloured, wood extremely hard, yellowish brown, bark pale brown, hard. Leaves 9 - 15 in the crown, spirally arranged, c. 3 m long; leaf-sheath c. 26 - 40 cm long, 10.5 - 30 cm wide, massive, margins disintegrating into fibres, fibres straight, c. 7 - 8 cm long, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum; petiole c. 1 - 1.2 m long, 2 - 2.5 cm diam., gradually tapering, sometimes margins disintegrating into fibres; rachis c. 1.67 - 2 m long, c. 2.5 cm diam. In the middle part; leaflets elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged, c. 55 - 65 on each side of rachis, the proximal 2 leaflets in a pair, the middle part with 2 leaflets crowded c. 2 cm distant, otherwise c. 5 cm distant, c. 68.5 - 84 cm long, 2.5 - 5 cm wide, adaxial surface with thin white indumentum and wax, thin red-brown tomentum on midrib, midrib robust, other ribs less robust, abaxial surface with dense white indumentum, red-brown tomentum on the midrib and margins, midrib robust, other ribs thicker than adaxial, ramenta present, red-brown, mainly on midrib and sparsely on other ribs. Inflorescence spreading, branching to 3 orders, robust, c. 83 - 125 cm long, 45 - 110 cm wide; prophyll persistent, c. 28 - 45 cm, 6 - 11 cm wide, hard, disintegrating into fibres when old, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum; peduncle massive, c. 25 - 40 cm long, c. 10 cm diam. in the middle, with dense red-brown tomentum; peduncular bract one or two, woody, persistent, proximal peduncular bract inserted 13 cm from base, c. 55 - 57 cm long, 6 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum, distal peduncular bract inserted 7 cm from base, c. 60 - 95 cm long, 6 - 7.5 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum, both peduncular bracts splitting in the middle, disintegrating into fibres when old; rachis c. 60 - 69 cm long; first order branches 10 - 20, c. 5 - 10 cm long, rachilla bracts conspicuous, c. 1.2 cm long, 7.5 - 8 mm wide, second order branches c. 20, c. 1.5 - 3 cm long, rachillae robust, c. 24 - 40 cm long, bearing 88 - 143 flower clusters, bearing triads in the proximal 2=3 part, the basal part of 2nd order branch with c. 1 - 1.5 cm devoid of flowers, triads c. 1.5 - 2 cm distant. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 5 - 7 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide; stamens c. 12 - 18, filaments free, dark brown, c. 0.4 - 1.25 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, pale creamy yellow, c. 2 - 5 mm long; pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, c. 1 - 2 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 5 - 7 mm long, 3.5 - 5 mm wide; staminodes 12 - 18, c. 1 - 2.5 mm long; gynoecium dark-brown, c. 3 - 5 mm long, 3 - 4 mm wide; stigmas 3 elongate, brighter coloured. Fruit globose or bilobed, c. 3.5 - 4.5 cm diam., pale green when young, stigmatic remains sub-basal; endosperm white, with a hollow inside, liquid endosperm said to be sweettasting (see Beentje & Andriampaniry 4730). 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)B

Materials Examined

  • Analalava: NNE of Maromandia, July 1992 (fl., y.fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4706 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). Antalaha: Marambo, Nov. 1912 (fl.), Perrier 11937 (type; P); Mahavinitra near Ambatobe, Dec. 1972 (fr.), Moore 10118 (P, TAN). Maroantsetra: Hiaraka, Oct. 1986 (y.fr.), Dransfield et al. JD6375 (K, TAN); idem, April 1989 (fr.), Du Puy & Du Puy MB 152 (K, TAN); Antalavia, Feb. 1988 (bud), Dransfield et al. JD6479 (K, P, TAN). Mananara Avaratra: Antanambe, Oct. 1991 (fr.), Beentje 4455 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN); idem, April 1992 (bud), Beentje et al. 4616 (K, TAN). Toamasina: Betampona, Oct. 1991 (fr.), Beentje 4493 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). Ifanadiana: Ambinanindrano, July 1992 (fl., fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4730 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). Manakara: Amby, May 1992 (fl., fr.), Beentje & Andriampaniry 4678 (BH, K, MO, P, TAN). (J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995)A
  • Port de l? Anivo, 1932, Perrier 11937 (P holotype, K! photo only); de Brickaville, envirous d? Anivorano Kely et d? Andramvolaly Kely, 1951, Cours 4495 (P, K!). Maroantsetra: Masoala Peninsula, West coast, Hiaraka, hill near village, 10 Oct. 1986, J. Dransfield JD 6375 (K!, TAN); Masoala Peninsula, West Coast, Antalavia, valley of river Ampatra, 24 Feb. 1988, J. Dransfield JD 6479 (K!, TAN). Toamasina: Mananara Biosphere Reserve, 6 km E of Antanambe on Biosphere Road, 5 Oct. 1991, Beentje 4455 (K!, TAN); Betampona RNI, 25 Oct. 1991, Beentje 4493 (K!, TAN); Mananara Avaratra, 10 km W of Antanambe, 13 April 1992, Beentje 4616 (K!, TAN); Reserve de la Biosphere de Mananara-Nord, Antanambe Village, 10 km W of Antanambe, 27 July 1994, Brummitt et al. OUEM 9 (K!, TAN); Mahavelona, Analava Forest, 18 Nov. 1999, J. Dransfield JD 7746 (K!); Betampona, 15 March 2003, Britt AB 4 (K!, TAN). Analalava: Analalava, 18 km NNE of Maromandia, 4 July 1992, Beentje 4706 (K!, TAN). Manakara: 39 km NNE of Manakara near main road, 20 May 1992, Beentje 4678 (K!, TAN); Fianarantsoa, 30 km N of Manakara by main road, 10 Sept. 2007, Rakotoarinivo RMJ 362 (K!, TAN). Ifanadiana: 2 Km N of Ambilandrano, 27 July 1992, Beentje 4730 (K!, TAN). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)B

Bibliography

A. J. Dransfield & H. Beentje, The Palms of Madagascar. 1995
B. A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012
C. World Checklist of Arecaceae