Calyptronoma occidentalis (Sw.) H.E.Moore, Gentes Herb. 9: 252 (1963)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Jamaica present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to wet habitats in Jamaica. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A


  • The type of C. swartzii was given by Grisebach (1864, I866) as Wright 1466; however, Swartz's Elaeis occidentalis of specifically cited as a synonym. In the 1864 publication of the genus name, Grisebach wrote that this genus was "construeted upon the Elaeis occidentalis Sw." Thus, the name C. swartzii is nomenclaturally superfluous, and the type of C. swartzii must be the type of E. occidentalis. No Swartz collections of E. occidentalis have been found at BM, G, LD, S, S-Linn, or SBT (T. Zanoni, pers. comm.), hence, a neotype is designated here. Although three collections were cited by León (1944) in the publication of Calyptrogyne victorinii, I consider the specimen annotated by León to be the holotype. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A

Biology And Ecology

  • This species is characterized by having the longest rachillae in the genus. When dry, the pit bracts are divaricating. The pollen is also distinctive. This species is tolerant of a broad range of environmental conditions. In its native Jamaica, it grows in swamps near sea level, in upland marshes (Mason River Field Station), and along mountain streams at more than 700 m above sea level. It is also the species most amenable to cultivation in southern Florida. Phenology: This species flowers in June through December; fruits have been collected throughout the year, with a peak in early spring. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A

Common Name

  • Long thatch. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A


  • Leaves are used for thatch, and stems are used for construction. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A


  • Stem to l5 m tall, 8.8-30 cm in diam. Leaf 2.8- 4.3 m long, with ca. 60 segments; segments 52-95 cm long, 2.1-4.5 cm wide, bearing inconspicuous multicellular trichomes on the abaxial intercostal surface. Prophyll 35.5-63 cm long, 5-8(-13) cm wide. Peduncle 39-98.5 cm long and 1-2.8 cm wide; rachillae (21-)26-35.5 cm long, 4.3-6.8 mm in diam, with (6-)7(-8) rows of pits; proximal rachillae borne in clusters of up to 3-4(-6) on stalks 0.7-4,I cm long, 0.5-0.9 cm wide, clustered rachillae borne for ca. 1/2 the length of the rachis; pits 1.7-4.1 mm long, 1.8-3.6 mm wide, longitudinal distance between pits (lip to lip) 4.2-9.8 mm. Staminate flowers 5-5.9 mm long; sepals 3.3-4.4 mm long, 0.9-1.1 mm wide; petals 3.5-5.7 mm long, 1.1-2.2 mm wide; staminal tube 3-5 .2 m, anthers 1.1-1.6 mm long. Pistallate flowers 4.9-6.5 mm long; sepals 3.4-4 mm long, 1-1.3 mm wide; corolla not seen; staminode not seen; glmoecium ca.6.7 mm long, style ca. 5.1 mm long; ovary 1-1.2 mm long. Fruit 9.8-15.8 mm long, 5.9-8.5 mm in diam.; endocarp free from seed, strongly net-like; seed (5.1 -)5.8-8.6 mm long, (3.9-)4.4-5.8 mm diam. (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • J AMAICA: CLARENDON. Chapelton to Bull Head, below summit of Bull Head, Underuood 3415 (NY); Mason River Field Station, 720 m, near Kellits, Gentry & Kapos 28308 (MO), 650 m, Zona & Salzman 452 (FLAS). PORTLAND. Upper Swift River, near Mossman's Peak, Blue Mountains, 850 m, Bretting, J-255 (NY); Stoney River base camp, 380 m, Morley & Whitefoord 693 (BM, MO, US); Nanny Town site, 640 m, Morley & Whitefoord 775 (A, BM, MO, US); 0.8 km SSW of Lancaster House, 9 75-1000 m, Proctor 34636 (MO). ST. ANN. Hollymount, Bailey 712 (BH); Ahion, road to Alexandra, 450 m, Read 1673 (BH, BM, US). ST. ELIZABETH. Morass near Middle Quarters, Bailey 15049 (BH), Bailey 213 (BH), Britton 163l (NY); 7 km E of Black River along road to Santa Cruz, l0 m, Zona & Salzman 455 (FLAS, RSA); near Black River, Harris 9842 (BM, NY, US). WESTMORLAND. Between Newmarket and Darlston, Britton 1462 (NY); vicinity of Negril, Britton & Hollick 2ll0 (NY, HAC), Salzman & Zona 152 (FLAS). ST. THOMAS. Corn Puss Gap trail, 460 m, Read 1693 (S, US); Cuna Cuna Pass, Fredholm 3254 (NY, US), 6I0- 820 m, Maxon 1759 (US). TRELAWNY. Tyre, Britton 537 (NY, US). (Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae))A


    A. Zona, S. 1995: A Revision of Calyptronoma (Arecaceae)
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae