Orania decipiens Becc., Philipp. J. Sci., C 4: 614 (1909)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Philippinespresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Widespread species in the Philippines Archipelago, from Luzon Island in the north to Mindanaoin the south, excluding Palawan Island. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Habitat

  • Commonly found in lowland tropical rainforest. Altitude from about 100 - 800 m above sea level. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Discussion

  • Within Orania decipiens, Beccari (1919b) proposed a new variety montana based on differences in size and shape of the fruit and the thickness of the mesocarp. This variety is treated in this study as belonging within O. palindan. In the protologue of var. montana Beccari mentioned it has a height of 35 feet (approximately 10 m) with diam. of trunk 30.5 cm. Although its height is not within the range of O. palindan, it is taller than O. decipiens . On the contrary, the diam. is within the range of O. palindan. Beccari also mentioned that the fruit of O. decipiens var. montana is exactly spherical (i.e. globose) with 42 mm in diam., thus resembling O. palindan. The rest of the description of var. montana (Beccari 1919a) matches well with O. palindan. Furthermore, examination of the syntypes of O. decipiens var. montana, including the specimens used by Beccari himself, show that this variety has a completely globose fruit and thus cannot be included in O. decipiens. Thus, var. montana is transferred to O. palindan. Beccari (1919b) also proposed variety mindanaoensis, distinct from other specimens of O. decipiens in two characters. Unfortunately, no specimens of var. mindanaoensis have been collected since the type. Nevertheless, the fruit of O. decipiens var. mindanaoensis is smaller than O. decipiens. Observations on cross-sections of two fruits of the holotype showed that the mesocarp was indeed only 2 - 2.5 mm thick, as opposed to 3 - 4 mm thick in O. decipiens. However, we consider these differences very slight and not important. Although we could not observe the embryo position, the type specimen of var. mindanaoensis possesses the subpyriform fruit, which characterises O. decipiens. Until we have more collections of O. decipiens var. mindanaoensis, this taxon is subsumed. The two obvious distinctive characters possessed by O. decipiens, the subpyriform fruit and embryo placed not very far from its summit or eccentrically apical , are also found in O. rubiginosa. Beccari (1919b) separated O. rubiginosa from O. decipiens because a dense red-brown tomentum covers the inflorescence in O. rubiginosa whereas the inflorescence in O. decipiens is glabrous. The results of this study show that the holotype of O. decipiens does have a slight red-brown tomentum in its inflorescence and red-brown tomentum varies in abundance and thickness among the specimens examined. Furthermore, the size (represented by the diam.) of O. rubiginosa fruits - missed by Beccari - is not conspicuously different from O. decipiens. We therefore conclude that the density of red-brown tomentum in the inflorescence and the size (i.e. diam.) of fruit do not reliably distinguish O. rubiginosa from O. decipiens. However, Fernando (2001 pers. comm.), on the basis of his field observations, considers that O. rubiginosa is quite distinct from O. decipiens as it is much smaller (stems no longer than 3 m in already fruiting individuals). We regard height as being less important than the shape of the fruits, in which both of the taxa (O. rubiginosa and O. decipiens) have subpyriform fruits. Thus O. rubiginosa is subsumed. O. decipiens shares the same habitat with O. palindan and it has the centre of distribution in Luzon Island as well. O. decipiens occurs in Mindanao Island scattered only to the western part of the island and on the small adjacent island, Basilan. This is in contrast with O. palindan for this species is more commonly found in the eastern part of Mindanao Island. Only on Mindoro does O. decipiens occur without co-existence with O. palindan. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Conservation

  • Vulnerable (VU D2). Although Orania decipiens has a wide extent of occurrence In Luzon and Mindanao, only seven unique localities have been recorded and much of the lowland forest where it occurred has already been destroyed. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Common Name

  • Angilog (Rizal), bakal (Basilan), banga (Dumagat). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Etymology

  • Deceptive, resembling another species (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Uses

  • Trunk is used for housing; leaves are used for thatch. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Description

  • Medium to large palm. Trunk up to 8 m high, c. 10 - 24 cm diam. (dbh). Leaves robust, spirally arranged, c. 3 - 5 m long; leaf-sheath c. 23 - 35 cm long, 4.7 - 8 cm wide in near the base, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, margins disintegrating into fibres; petiole c. 51 - 73 cm long, c. 4 - 5 cm diam., glabrous, or with dense red-brown tomentum, wax present; rachis c. 126 - 392 cm long, c. 5 cm diam. in middle part, glabrous or with dense redbrown tomentum, wax present; leaflets elongatelanceolate, regularly arranged leaflets held in one plane, in old leaflets margins disintegrating, the proximal part with singular smallest leaflet, c. 34 in each side of rachis, distance between 2 leaflets c. 5 - 8 cm in middle part, c. 1.05 - 1.5 m long, 6 - 7 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, with sparsely wax covering, midrib robust, other ribs less robust, abaxial surface densely covered with white indumentum, sparse red-brown tomentum present on margins, wax present, midrib less robust than adaxial, other ribs more slender. Inflorescence spreading, robust, branching to 2 orders, c. 2 - 2.03 m long; peduncle c. 84 -84.5 cm long, glabrous, or with dense red-brown tomentum, margins in old inflorescence sometimes found disintegrating to form a mass of fibres; peduncular bract one, woody, persistent, abaxially with dense red-brown tomentum, c. 51 - 52 cm long, 5 cm wide, splitting in the middle, disintegrating into fibres when old; rachis c. 1.16 - 1.18 m long; first order branch 40 - 70 cm, rachillae bract minute, rachillae slender, zigzagging distally, c. 32 - 45 cm long, bearing 77 - 105 flower clusters, bearing triads 1=3 - 1=2 part of rachillae, the basal c. 1 - 2.5 cm devoid of flowers, triads c. 1 - 1.7 cm distant, obvious pulvinate form in the base of rachilla, rachilla glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 6 - 13 mm long, c. 1 - 2 mm wide; stamens 6, filaments dark-brown, free, c. 0.6 - 1.5 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, free, pale creamy yellow, c. 3 - 6 mm long; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, c. 3.5 mm long, 2 mm wide; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 6 mm long, 2 - 2.5 mm wide; staminodes 6, c. 0.6 - 0.7 mm long; gynoecium dark-brown, c. 5.5 × 1.5 mm; stigma with 3 slightly elongate lobes, 1.5 mm elongate. Fruit subpyriform, c. 3.2 - 4.2 cm diam., stigmatic remains subbasal, dull green when young, yellowish green when mature; epicarp c. 0.5 mm thick; mesocarp fibrous, c. 2 - 4 mm thick; endocarp hard, red-brown, c. 0.7 - 1 mm thick; endosperm homogenous, white or creamy white, c. 2.2 cm diam., with hollow inside. Embryo placed not very far from its summit (eccentrically apical). Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Materials Examined

  • PHILIPPINES. Mindanao: Port Banga, Zamboanga, Jan. 1908, Whitford & Hutchinson 9179 (FI!). Basilan: Zamboanga, 5 - 18 Jan. 1941, Ebalo 975 (K!). Mindoro: Bongabong river, April - May 1906, Merritt 4120 (FI! holotype; K!). Luzon: Bicol Nat. Park, Camarines Norte, 25 May 1885, E. S. Fernando 507 (K!); Wakar, Sierra Madre Mts near Sitio Sablang, 1 June 1885, E. S. Fernando 514 (K!); Nakar, Sablang, Sierra Madre Mts, 2 June 1887, E. S. Fernando 706 (K!); Rizal, May 1906, A. Loher 7066 (FI!, K!); Angilog, Rizal, May 1906, A. Loher 7090 (FI!, K!); Cagayan, Feb. 1909, H. M. Curran 17068 (FI!); Cagayan, March 1909, H. M. Curran 17192 (FI!); Cagayan, March 1909, H. M. Curran 17259 (FI!); Cagayan, East Coast, Aug. 1909, McGregor 10575 (FI!); Bicoyan bay, Isabella, Aug. 1909, McGregor 10658 (FI!); Tagcauayan, Tayabas, March 1911, M. Ramos 13390 (FI!); Zambales, Mt Marayep, Dec. 1924, Ramos & Edaño FB 44779 (BO!, K!). (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