Orania palindan (Blanco) Merr., Publ. Bur. Sci. Gov. Lab. 27: 88 (1905)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Maluku present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Philippines present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
A widespread species known from Luzon in the northern part of the Philippines, Sulawesi, Maluku, Misoöl Island and northern part of mainland New Guinea. In Papua it is only known from Manokwari, through the Wandammen Peninsula, to an area near Sentani Lake in Jayapura excluding the Cyclops Mountain. In Papua New Guinea, the presence of this species is so far recorded from the Western Province, close to the border with Papua. So far this species has never been recorded in Borneo. Its occurrence in Sulawesi is based only on an entry in a diary with a photograph written and taken by Ned Beckwith in the 1940s (see Fairchild 1943). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • Lowland to rather hilly tropical rainforest with altitude from about 10 up to 800 m above sea level. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • The first mention of this species was by Blanco (1837) in his first edition of the Flora of the Philippines under the name Caryota palindan. Several years later Blanco (1845) produced the second edition of the Flora, citing the same description and adding to it a detailed picture of the species. Unfortunately Blanco did not make herbarium specimens, thus the picture in his second edition has to be regarded as the type of the species (see McNeill et al. 2006). Naves (1883) identified this species as Orania regalis. Although this identification was later shown to be incorrect by Merrill (1905), it was the first time this species was included as a member of the genus Orania. Merrill (1905) transferred Blanco's Caryota palindan to Orania as O. palindan. As mentioned before, because Blanco did not make specimens, Merrill selected one of his specimens - Species Blancoanae 144 - kept in K as theneotype for O. palindan (see Merrill 1918). The description from this specimen matches Blanco's original description and picture. Prior to Merrill, Beccari (1885) proposed a new taxon based on a specimen collected from the Bogor Botanic Garden and believed to be of Philippine origin. This species was named O. philippinensis. Beccari (1919a, b) regarded O. palindan as a synonym of O. philippinensis. In the same publication Beccari distinguished one variety, var. sibuyanensis, within 'O. philippinensis' on the basis of the characters shown in Table 8. Merrill (1925) regarded O. philippinensis and O. palindan as the same taxon, thus the name O. palindan is the valid name for the Philippine taxon described by Blanco. However, Merrill also recognised the variety, as O. palindan var. sibuyanensis. We have seen only spherical fruits in these taxa and thus do not recognise the varieties. Beccari (1885) described O. moluccana as differing from 'O. philippinensis' (i.e. O. palindan) in the shape, size, apex, margin and nerves of the leaflets. Our observations on both the holotype and isotypes of O. moluccana and comparison of these with herbarium specimens of O. palindan indicate that both taxa have elongate-lanceolate leaflets with entire margins and obvious midribs. Length of the leaflets varies from 1 to 2 m and width varies from 4.5 to 7.5 cm in both taxa. In O. palindan the peduncle is generally glabrous in populations in the Philippines and New Guinea, while Moluccan populations (formerly recognised as O. moluccana) have peduncles obviously or densely covered with red-brown tomentum. However, the variation is continuous, so there are several individuals in the Philippines and New Guinea with red-brown tomentum on their peduncles and several individuals have been collected from the Moluccas with rather glabrous peduncles. Actually, Beccari himself considered that the status of O. moluccana as a distinct species was not convincing and that it might one day be placed in synonymy with another species. Thus, O. moluccana is transferred to O. palindan. During observations on spirit-preserved collections we noted that specimens previously known as O. moluccana produce a secretion that changes the clear preservative to dark brown. Nothing is known about this substance and it is not produced by specimens labelled O. palindan. Essig (1980) mentioned that the type specimen of O. moluccana was said to have been collected by Teijsmann & De Vriese from Bacan Island without mentioning any type. Beccari (1885) in the protologue had already written that the first record of the presence of O. moluccana was from a living collection in Bogor Botanic Garden believed to be planted there from either seed or a seedling collected by Teijsmann & De Vriese from an area called 'Joni' in Bacan Island, an island within the Moluccas Archipelago (the original annotation text by Beccari himself as follows: 'Nel Giardino di Buitenzorg si coltiva questa Palma come proveniente da Batcian, dove è chiamata 'Joni' e dove fu trovata dai Sigg. Teijsmann e De Vriese'). Prior to this publication, Beccari (1877) stated that he received a letter from Scheffer (then the Director of Bogor Botanic Garden) mentioning the presence of an Orania from Bacan Island that was said to be identical to O. regalis, as was mentioned by Miquel (1868). Indeed there are two herbarium specimens of this O. moluccana from Bacan Island. The first one is a specimen, kept in L, which was labelled Teijsmann & De Vriese s.n. collected from Bacan Island between 1859 and 1860. The other one is labelled Beccari s.n., kept in FI, collected by Beccari at Bogor Botanic Garden in 1878 'a year after he received the letter from Scheffer' with a note saying of Bacan Island origin (the original annotation text by Beccari himself as follows: 'Piante del viaggio esequito nell'anno 1878. Batcian N. Ind. Okur.'). In this study the later specimen (Beccari s.n.) is regarded as the type specimen of O. moluccana for it is likely to be the one used by Beccari. The protologue of O. moluccana itself was published in Ann. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg in 1885 without mention of the herbarium specimen (Teijsmann & De Vriese s.n.). In this study it is assumed that the living collection that Beccari saw and collected was probably derived from the seed or seedling collected by Teijsmann & De Vriese?s Expedition to Moluccas in 1859 - 1860. We have seen both of the specimens. The specimens collected from Papua record the presence of O. palindan on the mainland of New Guinea, thus making O. palindan the most widespread species in the genus, occurring from Luzon Island in the northern part of the Philippines archipelago - through Sulawesi and the Moluccas - to the mainland of New Guinea. So far the existence of Orania in Sulawesi is only based on a photograph taken by Beckwith (Beckwith 1940 pers. not. see Fairchild 1943) and identified in this study as belonging to O. palindan. Beckwith saw and took a photograph of tall and robust Orania from a mountain (or highland) at approximately 1500 m altitude close to a city called Tanate, which turns out to be in the south-east of Makassar and within the range of Mount Lompobatang. Further fieldwork in Sulawesi is needed. The decision to identify the taxon from Sulawesi as O. palindan, despite the lack of the herbarium specimen is based on comparison with specimens of the same species recently collected from fieldwork in New Guinea. O. palindan in New Guinea is tall and robust: it can reach about 30 to 40 m and diam. of the trunk can be around 40 cm. These make O. palindan the tallest and most robust member of the genus. Fruits of O. palindan collected from individuals planted in Bogor Botanic Garden (previously known as O. moluccana, which here is regarded as a synonym of O. palindan) produce a brown liquid when preserved in alcohol, which colours the alcohol after being kept for one day. The spirit-preserved fruit collections from 'O. moluccana' kept in BO and K show the same phenomenon. Fruits from the 'original' O. palindan do not produce this liquid, nor do fruits from Papua collected during fieldwork carried out for this study or by others (Baker 2000 pers. comm.). Nothing is known about the nature of this liquid. However, there is no other distinctive morphological character that can be used to separate the individuals that secrete the brown liquid as a distinct taxon. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • Least concern (LC). On a global scale this species is widespread, occurring from Philippines through to New Guinea, a very large extent of occupancy. It is, however, locally threatened in the Philippines. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Common Name

  • Ajabu (Sumuri language), banga (Tagalog-Bagobo and Manobo dialects), barongong (Tagalog-Montalban dialect), hiyaub (Sougb Language- Siwi dialect), ifo-ifo (Tidore Language), nibun kelapa hutan (Malay-Sentani dialect), okiri (Tobaro Language), palindan (Tagalog-Luzon dialect), saser (Wandama language). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • Native name in Tagalog Language. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • Leaves used for thatching, trunk for building houses and bridges, bows or harpoons. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


  • Large palm. Trunk 20 - 30 m high, c. 15 - 40 cm diam. (dbh). Leaves 10 - 15 in the crown, spirally arranged, massive, c. 2.5 to 3.5 m long, in the old crown c. 5.6 - 6 m long; leaf-sheath c. 28 × 9.5 cm, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, margins disintegrating into fibres, fibres short, c. 5 cm long; petiole c. 1.5 m long, with red-brown tomentum; rachis c. 2 - 2.5 cm diam., with dense red-brown tomentum; leaflets c. 100 - 122, elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged, held in one plane, c. 4.5 - 8 cm distant in the middle part of rachis, c. 1 - 2 m long, 4.5 - 7.5 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, with thin red-brown tomentum on midrib, midrib robust, other ribs less robust, glabrous, abaxial surface with dense white indumentum, red-brown tomentum on margin and midrib, midrib robust, other ribs less robust, glabrous. Inflorescence spreading, robust, branching to 2 orders, c. 1.15 - 2 m long; prophyll persistent, c. 27 - 68.5 cm long, 7 - 8.7 cm wide near the base, disintegrating into fibres; peduncle 80 - 150 cm long, glabrous or with thin red-brown tomentum; peduncular bract one, woody, c. 53 - 160 cm long, 14 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum, splitting in the middle, disintegrating into fibres, wax present; first order branches reaching c. 100 - 105 cm long, bracts subtending rachillae c. 5 mm long; rachillae thick, straight or not conspicuously zigzag, c. 30 - 66.5 cm long, bearing 60 - 130 flower clusters, triads arranged in the proximal half part, the basal c. 3.5 - 6 cm devoid of flowers, triads c. 2 - 3.5 cm distant, rachilla glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, c. 1 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 4 - 11 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide; stamens 6, filaments free, dark-brown, c. 0.6 - 0.75 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, pale creamy yellow, always free, c. 3 mm long; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, 1.5 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 3 - 6 mm long, 2 - 4 mm wide; staminodes 6, c. 1 - 1.75 mm long; gynoecium dark-brown, c. 3 - 4 mm long, 3 - 3.5 mm wide, stigma of 3 elongate lobes, 1 mm long. Fruit globose or bilobed, c. 6.5 - 7.5 cm diam., sometimes found 4 to 5.5 cm diam., stigmatic remains sub-basal, olive green when young, yellowish green to bright yellow when mature; epicarp smooth, thin, c. 0.5 mm thick; mesocarp fibrous, 3 - 4 mm thick; endocarp hard, red-brown, thin, c. 0.5 mm thick; endosperm white or creamy white, c. 3.2 - 3.5 cm diam., with a hollow, 1 cm diam. 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)A

Materials Examined

  • PHILIPPINES. Agusan: Cabadbaran, Mt Urdaneta, Oct. 1912, A. D. E. Elmer 13970 (BO!, FI!, L!, NY!). Luzon: Zambales, Nov. - Dec. 1915, Curran et al. 8413 (FI!); Tayabas, May 1908, Curran 10410 (FI!); Cagayan, Feb. 1909, Curran 17068 (FI!). Central Luzon: Caypilayan, Lanati-Morong, 25 March 1893, A. Loher 1355 (K!); Montalban, Manila, 5 May 1893, A. Loher 1401 (K!); A. Loher 1402 (K!); 1906, A. Loher s.n. (K!); no date, A. Loher 1404 (K!); no date, A. Loher 5225 (K!); March 1912, Merrill Sp. Blancoanae 144 (BO!, K!, L! neotype); Batangas, Aug. 1914, M. Ramos 1900 (BO!, L!); Rizal, Dec. 1915, M. Ramos 24107 (BO!, FI!, K!, L!). Laguna: Calauan, Nov. - Dec. 1910, R. C. McGregor 12391 (FI!, K!, L!); Mt Maquiling, Los Baños, 6 July 1917, A. D. E. Elmer 18242 (BO!); Mt Maquiling, Los Baños, June - July 1917, A. D. E. Elmer 18248 (K!); Mt Maleiling, Los Baños, 30 Sept. 1985, E. S. Fernando 553 (K!). Benguet: Baguio, March 1907, A. D. E. Elmer 8950 (BO!, K!, L!). Sibuyan: Magallanes, Mt Giting-giting, April 1910, A. D. E. Elmer 12066 (BO!, FI!, K!, L!, NY!); Magdiwang, Mt Giting-giting in Northern slope, 21 May 1987, E. S. Fernando 696 (K!). Romblon: Magdiwang, Bario Hawasan, 26 May 1992, B. C. Stone et al. PPI 6708 (K!). Davao: Todaya, Mt Apo, May 1909, A. D. E. Elmer 11881 (BO!, K!, L!); Davao, March - April 1927, M. Ramos & G. Edaño 49293 (BO!); Camarines Sur, Oct. 1928, G. Edaño 75896 (BO!). INDONESIA. Moluccas. Halmahera: S. O. A. Tobaru, North Halmahera, 5 Aug. 1922, Beguin 2105 (BO!); 23 Aug. 1922, Beguin 2043 (BO!); Ekor Kali Dowora Ina, 24 Sept. 1974, E. F. de Vogel 3082 (BO!, K!, L!); 25 Sept. 1974, E. F. de Vogel 3102 (BO!, K!, L!); Central part, Akelamo Oba, 4 Dec. 1974, E. F. de Vogel 4402 (BO!, K!, L!); South Halmahera, Payahe, 9 April 1983, J. P. Mogea 4469 (BO!, K!, L!); 20 km SE of Dodinga, Tapayo, 13 Sept. 1985, T. C. Whitmore et al. 3674 (K!). Bacan: 1859 - 1860, Teijsmann et al. s.n. (L!); NE of the Island, 2 Sept. 1985, T. C. Whitmore et al. 3576 (K!); Seyoang R., Mt Sibela, N. Bacan, 31 Aug. 1986, Ramlanto 911 (BO!); Jokir (Yokir?), no date, Anonymous s.n. (FI!). Papua Barat. Sorong: Waigama, Misoöl Island, Aug.?, Anonymous s.n. (BO!). Manokwari: Nuni-Asai, 19 March 1999, A. Keim AK 38 (BO!, K!); A. Keim AK 39 (K!); Nuni-Asai, 20 March 1999, A. Keim AK 40 (K!, BO!, MAN!, BH!, NY!, L!); Waren, Siwi-Ransiki, 2 March 1940, Kanehira & Hatusima 12127 (BO!); Near Ransiki, July 1948, Kostermans P (BO!); Siwi-Ransiki, 25 March 1999, A. Keim AK 43 (BH!, BO!, K!, L!, MAN!, NY!); A. Keim AK 44 (BO!, K!, MAN!). Wandammen: Wandammen Peninsula, Wasior Distr., Kowi, near Wondiwoi village, c. 9 km S of Wasior, 23 Feb. 2000, W. J. Baker 1049 (BO, K!, L, MAN). Bintuni: Bintuni, near Tanah Merah village, 14 Feb. 2002, R. A. Maturbongs RAM 716 (BO!, K!, MAN); 15 Feb. 2002, R. A. Maturbongs RAM 724 (AAU, BO!, K!, LAE). Papua. Yapen: Saubeba-Konti Road, E of Serui, 11 Oct. 2006, A. Keim 805 (BO!). Jayapura: Kampung Puay, Sentani, 22 Feb. 1999, A. Keim AK 37 (BH!, BO!, K!, L!, MAN!, NY!); Arso, Tami River, Isobo, Gusbager PG07 (AAU, K!, LAE, MAN). PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Western: N of Fly Distr., junction of Harvey Creek & Ok Mani R., 10 km WNW of Tabubil, 51°4'28.5''S 141°8'22.1''E, 14 Dec. 2000, W. J. Baker 1140 (AAU, BO!, K!, LAE). CULTIVATED. Java: Kebun Raya Bogor, 16 Jan. 1999, A. Keim et al. AK 34 (BO!, K!); 16 June 1999, A. Keim et al. AK 45 (BO!, K!); 16 June 1999, A. Keim et al. AK 46 (BO!, K!). Singapore: Singapore Botanic Garden, 10 Jan. 1933, Kiah 26185 (K!); 22 June 1929, Nur s.n. (K!). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A


    A. A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae