Pinanga cucullata J.Dransf., Kew Bull. 46: 691 (1991)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Borneo present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A


  • This is a pretty species, very distinctive in its cucullate bifid leaves of a curious almost succulent texture, adaxially shiny green and abaxially grey-hairy. It seems most closely related both in vegetative and floral details to P. tomentella Becc.; the latter, however, is immediately distinguishable by its entire, lanceolate, scarcely bifid leaf. (J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991)B


  • P. tomentellae Becc. pagina inferiore laminae tomentella calyce floris pistillati connato affinis sed lamina profunde bifida, habitu dense caespitoso distinguibilis. (J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991)B

Biology And Ecology

  • It seems always to be found in 'kerangas' (Bornean heath forest) and, although all collections are from the same locality, I have observed it else- where in the 1st Division at Semengoh Forest Reserve near Kuching and in Sempadi Forest Reserve on the Bau-Lundu Road. Although abundant where it occurs, it is, like many kerangas palms, a shy flowerer. (J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991)B


  • Slender colonial palmlet spreading by short rhizomes or stolons; stem erect, rarely exceeding 60 cm long, 4-8 mm diam., internodes 3-4 cm long, the surface covered with dark brown scales and white hairs, adventitious branching sometimes occurring from the middle of the internodes. Crown of about 8 leaves, the sheaths forming an elongate crownshaft; leaf sheaths c. 11 x 1.4 cm, smooth, almost succulent when fresh, striate on drying, bearing scales and hairs as the internodes, distally with 2 short rapidly disintegrating auricles 6 x 3 mm; petiole very short, c. 20 x 2.5 mm, bearing scales and hairs as the sheath; blade when fresh, dark shiny green adaxially, grey hairy abaxially, deeply bifid, the costa c. 5 cm only, the two lobes conspicuously cucullate, to 25 x 3 cm, with about 5 ribs, the tips entire rather than lobed, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface densely grey-scurfy, particularly along the folds. Inflorescence unbranched or bifid, pendulous or porrect, to 8 cm; prophyll not preserved; peduncle very short, not exceeding 8 mm, c. 4 mm diam. near the base; rachilla c. 2 x 1 mm diam., pale cream, thickening and becoming red at fruit maturity, rather densely covered in caducous branched scale-like trichomes, and bearing strictly distichous triads of flowers. Staminate flowers (based on one very imperfectly preserved flower) c. 4 x 3 mm; calyx c. 0.5 mm high, irregularly 3-lobed; petals c. 4 x 2 mm, unequal; stamens at least 4 (exact number not known), filaments 0.5 mm, anthers elongate, 1.3 mm; pollen not known. Pistillate flower globular, c. 2 mm diam.; calyx gamo- sepalous, striate, c. 1.5 mm high, shallowly 3-lobed; petals imbricate, ovate, c. 1.5 x 1.5 mm, the margins minutely ciliate; staminodes absent; ovary ellipsoid, c. 2 x 1 mm, tipped with an irregularly lobed stigma. Mature fruit black, ellipsoid, c. 13 x 5 mm. Seedling not known. (J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991)B

Materials Examined

  • BORNEO. Sarawak: 1st Division, Serian District, Sabal Tapang Forest Reserve, Dransfield et al. JD6072 (holotype K; isotypes BH, BO, L, PNH, SAR), Dransfield et al. JD4656 (BH, K, KEP, L, SAR), Ilias Paie S.5397 (K, SAR). (J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991)B


    A. World Checklist of Arecaceae
    B. J. Dransfield, Notes on Pinanga (Palmae) in Sarawak. 1991