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. (Essig, F.B. 1975: Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae). – Principes 19: 100-103)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. ¼ 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. (Essig, F.B. 1975: Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae). – Principes 19: 100-103)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. (Essig, F.B. 1975: Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae). – Principes 19: 100-103)A


    A. Essig, F.B. 1975: Brassiophoenix schumannii (Palmae). – Principes 19: 100-103
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae