Brassiophoenix schumannii (Becc.) Essig, Principes 19: 102 (1975)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
New Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Rain forest from Sepik River Basin to Milne Bay District. (F.B. Essig, Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae) in Principes 19. 1975)A


  • A slender, solitary palm; stem 2-10 m. tall, 3-5 cm. in diam. Leaves ca. 9, spreading; sheath 30-50 cm. long, densely white woolly and brown puncticulate throughout, sometimes with an inconspicuous triangular appendage at the apex opposite the petiole; petiole 20-45 cm. long, densely white woolly and sparsely to moderately lepidote with brown punctiform scales and dark, irregular ramenta; rachis 130-300 cm. long, lepidote as on rachis, sometimes very densely lepidote around and on base of the Pinnae; pinnae 8-10 on each side, regularly or irregularly arranged, basal pinnae reduced and sometimes crowded, central pinnae cuneate, praemorsely 3-pronged, 38-68 cm. long on the midrib, 22-27 cm. broad just below the two deep notches, apical pinnae wedge-shaped, 3-4-ribbed, ca. half as long as central pinnae. Inflorescence branched to 2 or 3 orders, 25-74 cm long, 22-58 cm. wide, with peduncle ca. ΒΌ as long as the rachis, complete peduncular bract twice as long as prophyll and exserted from it at maturity; axes thickly dark lepidote-tomentose and somewhat white woolly when young, glabrescent with age; upper peduncular bracts 1 or 2, very small and ribbonlike or sometimes triangular to elongate, 2-7.5 cm Iong; rachillae 1.5-4 mm. thick in the middle, 9.5-28 cm. long, each bearing 28-60 triads and diads. Flowers cream-colored or yellow-green, glabrous or sparsely punctate; staminate flowers 7-9 mm. long, 3-5 mm. wide, with calyx ca. 2-2.5 mm. high, stamens ca. 130-200; pistillate buds ca. 6 mm. high and 4-6 mm. broad at staminate anthesis. Fruit yellow-orange at maturity, ellipsoid, 31-35 mm. long, 17-19 mm. in diam. when dry, outer part of the fruit wall drying in close conformity to the angled endocarp when incompletely ripe, but drying apart from the endocarp when fully ripe, endocarp 5- or 9-ribbed; seed 5-grooved with the lobes squarish or acute in cross-section, endosperm homogeneous. (F.B. Essig, Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae) in Principes 19. 1975)A

Materials Examined

  • Papua New Guinea.
    East Sepik District: Sepik River, 120 sea miles from the mouth, fruit orange-yellow, Hollrung 264 (B, holotype destroyed, no photo known, data according to Beccari, 1889); Angoram Subdistrict, 1 mile north of Angoram on road to Gavien. alt. 50 ft., disturbed forest, F.B. Essig LAE 55108 (BH, LAE).
    Madang District: Bismarck Mountains, 5 luly 1899, Ramu Expedition (Rodety and Krause ?) 222 (B, destroyed: photo at BH); Gogol River, 4 November 1890, Lauterbach 857, (B, destroyed; FI, neotype, photos and fragments, photos also at BH); Gogol River, 9 November 1890, Lauterbach 1535 (BH); Gogol River, swampy lowland forest about 1 mile from Forest camp, alt. 100 ft., 11 October 1971, F.B. Essig & P. Katik LAE 55052 (BH, LAE).
    Morobe District: Lae Subdistrict, mountain slopes of the south side of the Mo River Valley, a few miles southeast of Ana Village, alt. ca. 500 ft., 28 January 1972, F.B. Essig LAE 55161 (BH, LAE).
    Northern District: north of Ioma on walking track to Nindewari, alt. ca. 200 ft., ridge top and slopes in lowland rain forest, 2 June 1967, M.I.E. Coode and P. Katik NGF 29978 (BH, LAE).
    Milne Bay District: Raba Raba Subdistrict, Biniguni camp, Gwariu River, alt. 200 m., 6 August 1953, L.J. Brass 23853 (A, BH) ; Peria Creek, Kwagira River, alt. 50 m., rain forest, 17 August 1953, L.J. Brass 24034 (A, BH); Biniguni, alt. 60 m., advanced regrowth, 27 June 1972, H. Streimann 28561( .B H,L AE); Mt. Suckling, Mayu camp I, alt. 360 m., lowland forest. 15 June 1972, G. Leach LAE 56015 (BH, LAE).
    CULTIVATED. U.S.A.: Florida, Fairchild Tropical Garden, "Rainforest," 1972, S. Donachie s. n. (plant # FG 3172, apparently progeny of a Brass collection from the Biniguni area in 1956) (BH). Lauterbach 857 has been selected as a neotype since it is the best extant specimen annotated by Beccari himself as belonging in the species. (F.B. Essig, Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae) in Principes 19. 1975)A


    A. F.B. Essig, Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae) in Principes 19. 1975
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae