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Copyright W. T. Cooper
In high-altitude rainforest. Purple colour of sheath visible. Copyright J.L. Dowe
Inflorescence. Copyright J.L. Dowe
Male flower. Copyright J.L. Dowe
Female flowers. Copyright J.L. Dowe
Fruit, whole, with mesocarp fibres exposed, seed, and in longitudinal section. Copyright J.L. Dowe
Archontophoenix purpurea Hodel & Dowe
Dowe, J.L. & Hodel, D.R. (1994) Austrobaileya 4(2): 238, fig. 1 C1-C3. Type: Queensland. Cook District: Mt Lewis, montane rainforest, amongst granite boulders, 1200 m altitude, 17 Apr 1993, M. Ferrero 101 (holo: BRI).
Purple Alexandra Palm
Palm to 25 m tall. Trunk to 45 cm DBH, expanded at the base, smooth in upper part becoming deeply fissuered with age; leaf scars slightly raised; internodes up to 10 cm wide.
Leaves 7-15 and 4-6 m long held flat or with a moderate lateral twist, 55-85 pinnae per side; new leaves frequently with a bronze tinge. Crownshaft 105-150 cm long shallowly densely longitudinally striate, dark blue-grey to blue-green covered with a dense glaucous bloom and flecked with deciduous reddish/mahogany scales resulting in the plum or purple colour, glossy coppery-brown adaxially. Petiole to 40 x 12 cm narrowing to 1.5 cm at the rachis, convex below with a light coloured band extending to the sheath, concave above with central flat ridge to 3 mm high. Rachis up to 4 m long becomong sharply ridged above in the front part, light green adaxially and covered with silvery scales throughout abaxially. Pinnae to 105 x 7.5 cm, rigid, glossy light green adaxially, with persistent silvery scales abaxially. Midrib prominent with up to 10 secondary ribs on abaxial surface.
Inflorescence 50-135 x 60-65 cm, axes light green becoming dark green. Prophyll to 140 x 25 cm, glabrous or covered with reddish-brown scales. Peduncular bract attached 5 cm above prophyll, 70-78 x 9-11 cm, glabrous and fibrous. Third bract 10-11 x 2-2.3 cm, acuminate. Peduncle 20-25 x 5.5-9(-15) cm wide, with scattered brown scales. Rachis 60-65 cm long, angular in lower portion. Rachillae up to 111 per inflorescence and up to 85 cm long. Triads borne on basal ?-? of rachillae with the paired staminate flowers distally.Flowers cream fused green. Floral bracts prominent, sharp and angular. Staminate flowers 6-7 x 15-17. Petals 8-11 x 3-5 mm, covered in small brown scales especially on inner surface. Stamens 20-35 and up to 9 mm long, filaments curved, purple/brown with fine brown scales. Pistillode as long as stamens, with shallow longitudinal ridges, with a broad, lobed apex.Pistillate flowers globose, up to 6.5 mm long.
Fruit ovoid-ellipsoid-globose, 20-26 x 18-22 mm, red to crimson at maturity. Stigmatic remains prominent. Persistent calyx 3-9 mm long. Epicarp glossy, minutely pebbled. Mesocarp fleshy, fibres flat, to 2 mm wide, branched, overlaid and interspersed with thin straight fibres. Endocarp thin, crustaceous.Seed subglobose, to 23 x 18 mm, glossy light brown.
Features not available.
Distribution and Ecology
Occurs on Mt. Spurgeon, Mt. Lewis and Mt. Finnigan in NEQ. Altitudinal range from 400-1200 m. Grows in granitic soil along creeks with flowing water in rainforest and vineforest.
The fruit of this species is the largest in the genus (Dowe & Hodel 1994).
Distinguished by: undersurface of pinnae with silver-grey scales, ramenta (large irregular scales on midrib) present; perianth white-cream or cream-green, fruit ellipsoid-ovoid, 20-26 mm; mesocarp fruit fibres flat to 2 mm wide, branched and interspersed with thin fibres. Fibres compact (not free) when ripe.
Palm, pandan or cycad