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Ptychosperma elegans

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

Ptychosperma elegans (R.Br.) Blume

Blume, C. (1836) Rumphia 2: 118. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Ptychosperma elegans (R.Br.) Blume var. elegans, Annales du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg 2: 88(1885), Type: ?. Seaforthia elegans R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae: 267(1810), Type: [given by F.B.Essig, Allertonia 1 (1978) 432 as Robert Browns collection from the Northumberland Islands, Queensland (Brown 5794).Holo: BM. Ptychosperma capitis-yorkii H.Wendl. & Drude, Linnaea 39: 217(1875), Type: In Australasiae septentrionalis silvis umbrosis ad Caput York (Somerset)! leg. Veitch; Herb. Wendland. Ptychosperma seaforthia Miq., Flora Indiae Batavae 3: 21(1855), Type: Nieuw-Holland, oostkust van het tropisch gedeette. Archontophoenix jardinei F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 2: 129(1898), Type: Queensland, Somerset, Cape York, Jardine; holo: BRI?. Ptychosperma elegans var. sphaerocarpum Becc., Annales du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg 2: 88(1885), Type: La pianta di Buitenzorg. Ptychosperma wendlandiana Burret, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 10: 205(1928), Type: Nordaustralien: Cape York (DAEMEL). Typus speciei!. Ptychosperma wendlandiana Burret var. wendlandiana, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 10: 206(1928), Type: ?. Ptychosperma wendlandiana var. sphaerocarpum (Becc.) Burret, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 10: 206(1928), Type: ?. Ptychosperma jardinei (Bailey) F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 23(1): 35(1909), Type: ?. Actinophloeus capitis-yorkii Burret, Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 24: 266(1927), Type: ?.

Common name

Bangalow; Solitaire Palm; Palm, Solitaire; Elegant Palm; Palm, Elegant

Stem

Grows up to 12 m tall but usually flowers and fruits when much smaller. Stem solitary.

Leaves

Leaves to 3.3 m long, pinnate with 30-60 leaflets on each side of midrib and to 84 cm long.

Flowers

Inflorescence 65-70 cm long bearing flowers in groups of three consisting of two male and one female flower. Male flowers with sepals 3, c. 1.5-2 mm long, light green; petals 3, c. 6 mm long, light green; stamens 12-22 per flower; ovary, style and stigma always well developed but the ovules are absent in the male flowers. Female flowers with sepals 3, 2.5 x 2-.5 mm, green; petals 3, 5 x 2.5 mm, green; c. 6 staminodes present; stigma 1 mm llong, recurved.

Fruit

Fruits globose to ellipsoid, 9-15 mm long x 8-10 mm diam.; red when mature. Seed 10-11 mm long, 5-angled.

Seedlings

First pair of leaves compound with two broad-based, sessile, longitudinally veined leaflets. Apices praemorse. Leaf blades about 3-6.5 x 1.5-3 cm, petioles about 3.5 cm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf compound with two broad-based, sessile, longitudinally veined leaflets. Apices praemorse.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and southwards to coastal central and south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows as an understory plant in lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History

Often cultivated in gardens as the Solitaire Palm. Honey eaters eat the flesh off the fruit.

Distinguished by the non-clumping habit, number of pinnae 30-60 on each side of the rachis, and the deeply ruminate endosperm in seed.

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Palm, pandan or cycad

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

3331