Eremospatha laurentii De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État 5: 147 (1916)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Cameroon present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Central African Republic present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Equatorial Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Gabon present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Liberia present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nigeria present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Sierra Leone present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Zaire present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
This species occurs predominantly in the lowland forests of the northern Congo Basin. However, intriguingly, there are outliers of this species found in the forests of Upper Guinea, with a pronounced disjunction from Ivory Coast to Benin. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Eremospatha laurentii is found in both open areas as well as in closed-canopy forest. However, this species responds particularly well to selective logging and is a common component of regrowth vegetation where it occurs. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • Least concern (LC) (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • Named after Marcel Laurent (1879?1924), Belgian botanist. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • Clustered robust palm climbing to 30 m long. Stems ± triangular in cross-section, without sheaths, 18-24 mm in diameter, with 25-30 mm; internodes 10-16 cm. Leaf sheath lightly striate, moderately to profusely covered in caducous grey-black indumentum, or indumentum absent; ocrea entire, obliquely truncate, extending for 1-2 cm; knee conspicuous, narrow, linear, 5-8 cm long, rather abrupt at base. Leaves sessile, up to 3m long; rachis 1.2-1.5m long, abaxially rounded, adaxially convex to concave, becoming trapezoid then triangular in cross-section distally, sparse grey indumentum present below, or absent, armed along the margins with robust reflexed, bulbous-based, black-tipped, spines, becoming sparsely armed distally; cirrus 1.2-1.5 m long, unarmed; leaflets up to 30 on each side of the rachis, inequidistant, opposite to sub-opposite, linear-lanceolate to ovate, bluntly contracted at the base, very finely acuminate at apex, with apex often breaking off giving slightly blunt appearance, 22-38 cm long × 2.8-3.8 cm broad at the widest point, concolorous, armed along the margins with slender to robust black-tipped yellow spines, with ca.6 moderately conspicuous transverse veinlets 1-2 mm apart; lowermost leaflets, smaller than the rest, linear, strap-like, armed along the margins with robust bulbous-based black-tipped yellow to orange spines, laxly swept back across, or tightly clasping stem; acanthophylls 3-4 cm long. Inflorescence glabrous, 24-32 cm long; peduncle 10-15 cm long, somewhat flattened in cross-section; rachis 12-17 cm long, erect, arching; rachillae distichous 8-10 on each side, 5-16 cm long, decreasing distally, adnate to the inflorescence axis for 3-5 mm; rachis bracts, acuminate, <4 mm long, decreasing distally; flower cluster subtended by <1.0 mm. long incomplete bracts. Flowers borne in close pairs; calyx 4 mm long × 5 mm wide at the mouth, with 3 rounded, striate, 1.5-mm long lobes; corolla 7-9 mm × 3-4 mm, divided to ¼ of its length; stamens united into 4 mm-long epipetalous ring, free filaments <0.1 mm, anthers <0.5 mm; ovary 1 mm × 1.5 mm, tipped by 1 mm long style. Fruit at maturity, 1-seeded, globose or cylindrical, 1.6-2.2 cm long × 1.7-2 cm wide, with 18-22 vertical rows of scales. Seed ± compressed, 1-1.2 cm long × 0.8-1 cm wide × 0.6-0.8 cm thick, rounded on one side, embryo lateral, raised into conspicuous 1.5 mm-long stalk-like organ (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A

Materials Examined

  • SIERRA LEONE: Deighton 4117, Gola forest (07º45N:10º45W) Fl., March 10, 1945 (K!); Liberia: Harley 2174, Wanana (07º25N:09º31W) Fr., January 24, 1958 (K!); Nigeria: Onochie 5243, Olujiji (08º11N:04º08E) sterile, December 13, 1957 (K!); Otedoh & Tuley 7258, Ologbo, near Sapele (07º59N:04º25E) Fr., s.d. (K!); Tuley & Ochie 1682, South of Maraba, sterile, October 4, 1969 (K!); CAMEROON: Cheek 5554, Mount Cameroon: Njonji (04º04N:08º59E) sterile, November 24, 1993 (SCA!); de Wilde 2183, 60km S of Eseka (03º39N:10º46E) Fr., March 20, 1964 (WAG!); Dransfield 7003, Mungo River Crossing (04º08N:09º31E) Fr., June 27, 1991 (K!, SCA!); Letouzey 4278, 40km S of Mesamena (03º19N:12º49E) sterile, February 16, 1962 (YA!); Letouzey 4416, 20km E of Somalonyo in Dja (03º00N:12º40E) Fl., February 24, 1962 (YA!); Letouzey 11796, 25km NNE of Mintom II (02º03N:13º30E) sterile, Janaury 5, 1973 (YA!); Letouzey 12477, Lake Ossa, 8km WNW Edea (03º50N:10º02E) Fl., December 22, 1966 (K!, YA!); Letouzey 14522, Rumpi Hills nr Lokando (04º54N:09º20E) sheath only, March 23, 1976 (YA!); Letouzey 14748, 25km N of Douala (04º18N:09º43E) Fr., August 29, 1976 (YA!); Njingum 4, Mbalmayo (03º31N:11º30E) sterile, June 15, 1999 (K!); Njingum 8, Akom II (02º47N:10º34E) sterile, July 3, 1999 (K!); Sunderland 1752, Mungo River Crossing (04º08N:09º31E), sterile, November 16, 1996 (K!, SCA!, BH!); Sunderland 1766, Southern Bakundu Forest Reserve (04º46N:09º29E) sterile, November 24, 1996 (K!, SCA!, NY!); Sunderland 1805, Campo Ma'an Faunal Reserve (02º10N:09º54E) sterile, March 27, 1997 (K!, YA!); Sunderland s.n., Sud Province (02º24N:09º54E) sterile., s.d. (K!, YA!); Watts 514, Mount Cameroon: Njonji (04º04N:08º59E) sterile, October 15, 1992 (SCA!); CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Harris & Fay 459, Ndakan (02º22N:16º09E) Fr., April 4, 1988 (MO!, BR!); EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Sunderland 1920, on road to Monte Mitra (01º12N:09º59E) sterile, April 7, 1998 (K!, EG!); GABON: Klaines.n., Libreville (00º35N:09º22E) Fr., January 15, 1907 (FI!); van Nek 517, Gamba (02º47S:10º03E) sterile, December 31, 1990 (WAG!); DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Bequaert 878, between Bolobo & Sandy Beach (02º08S:16º15E) sterile, October 14, 1913 (BR!); Couteaux 473, Eala (00º03N:18º18E) Fr., October 20, 1908 (BR!); Dubois 912, Maringa (00º07N:21º17E) Fr., August 1938 (K!, BR!); Evrard 2984, between Mangania and Lifoku (00º75S:21º03E) Fr., November 19, 1957 (BR!); Evrard 4511, Parc National de Monkoto (00º08N:19º16E) sterile, August 6, 1958 (K!, WAG!, BR!); Evrard 7070, Nselé (04º14S15º34E) Fr., May 8, 1975 (BR!, WAG!, MO!); Gerard 2152, Bambesa (03º28N:25º11E) Fl., February 20, 1956 (BR!); Germain 1681, Eala (00º03N:18º18E) Fr., October 28, 1943 (BR!); Germain 4808, Ikelemba river, Fl., February 1949 (BR!); Gilbert 7909, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fl., 1947 (BR!); Hulstaert 747, Bokuma, Fl., March 8, 1942 (BR!); Laurent 645, between Bolobo & Yumbi (02º08S:16º15E) Fl. & Fr., April 14, 1903 (BR!); Leonard 55, between Bamania & Ilelenge, Fr., September 26, 1945 (K!, MO!, BR!); Leonard 816, Eala (00º03N:18º18E) Fr., October 12, 1946 (BR!); Leonard 980, Eala (00º03N:18º18E) sterile, November 11, 1946 (K!, BR!, WAG!); Louis 10155, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fr., July 1, 1938 (K!, BR!, WAG!); Louis 11439, between Yangambi and Basoko (01º12N. 23º51E) Fl. & Fr., September 1938 (K!, BR!, WAG!); Louis 15925, Yangambi (0º45N:24º26E) Fr., August 25, 1939 (K!, BR!); Louis 15944, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fl., August 28, 1939 (K!, BR!, WAG!); Louis 16791, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fr., November 17, 1943 (BR!); Louis 7994, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fr., February 22, 1938 (K!, BR!); Mandango 2970, Basoko (01º15N:23º36E) Fr., May 13, 1981 (BR!); Sapin s.n., sterile, 1912 (BR!); Thonet129, Lac Tumba (00.46S:20.06E) Fr., February 5, 1957 (BR!); CULTIVATED: Java, Furtado A113, Bogor Botanic Garden, sterile (K!); Palm House, RBG Kew, 1984?1058 (K!). (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


    A. Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae