Bentinckia Berry ex Roxb., Fl. Ind. ed. 1832 , 3: 621 (1832)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Indiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nicobar Is.present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Two species, one in Tranvancore, India, and one on the Nicobar Islands. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Discussion

  • The rachillae of Bentinckia have unusual pits out of which the staminate flowers are projected on short hairy pedicels. The endocarp is irregularly ridged and grooved. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Diagnosis

  • Moderate solitary pinnate-leaved palms endemic to the Western Ghats in India and the Nicobar Islands, distinctive in conspicuous crownshafts and highly branched inflorescences with rachillae bearing flowers in laterally compressed pits. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Bentinckia condapanna grows at 1000–1400 m at the edge of high peaks in the Travancore hills, where it is threatened by forest clearance and the grazing of young foliage by elephants. Bentinckia nicobarica apparently grows at somewhat lower elevations along with Areca catechu, Pinanga manii and Rhopaloblaste augusta. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Common Name

  • Bentinckia palm. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Etymology

  • Commemorates Lord William Henry Cavendish Bentinck (1774–1839), Governor-General of India 1828–1835. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Uses

  • The inflorescence of Bentinckia condapanna has been used in religious ceremonies. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Description

  • Moderate, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem erect, moderately robust, brown, leaf scars clearly defined, close. Leaves pinnate, somewhat arching to spreading, becoming pendulous, neatly abscising; sheaths thick, striate, ± glabrous, tubular, forming a conspicuous crownshaft; petiole very short, stout, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded; rachis elongate, angled adaxially, rounded abaxially; leaflets single-fold (basal leaflets sometimes united), lanceolate, acute or acuminate, tips bifid, both surfaces with small brown scales, long, pale ramenta near the base adaxially, along ribs abaxially, midrib raised adaxially, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences infrafoliar, branched to 3 orders basally,fewer distally, branches somewhat pendulous at anthesis; peduncle veryshort, dorsiventrally flattened; prophyll inserted close to base of peduncle,tubular, splitting abaxially, caducous, chartaceous, tomentose, rather wide,2-keeled laterally, tapering slightly to a blunt tip; peduncular bract insertedclose to prophyll, similar but beaked and lacking keels, also caducous;rachis longer than the peduncle, bearing rather distant, spirally arranged,short, sometimes pointed bracts subtending branches and rachillae,glabrous except for a dense tuft of short hairs in bract axils; rachillae ratherstiff, moderate, tapering, bearing spirally arranged, low, rounded bractssubtending triads of flowers nearly throughout, a few paired or solitarystaminate flowers distally; flowers borne in vertical, laterally compressedpits, inner surfaces of pits densely hairy; floral bracteoles about equal,shallow, rounded. Staminate flowers slightly asymmetrical, borne on hairypedicels; sepals 3, distinct, scarcely imbricate, narrow, ± acute,membranous; petals 3, asymmetrical and angled, ± strongly nerved;stamens 6, those opposite the sepals usually shorter than those opposite thepetals, filaments awl-shaped, inflexed at the apex in bud, inflexed portionvery slender, anthers elliptic to oblong or nearly quadrate, basifixed,latrorse, the connective very short; pistillode, in bud as long as the stamens,ovoid with expanded capitate tip when fresh. Pollen ellipsoidal asymmetric, imbricate, ± rounded apically, nearly as long as the petals in bud,occasionally lozenge-shaped or pyriform; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine glumaceous; petals 3, broadly imbricate with very briefly valvate tips;tectate, perforate and micro-channelled or finely perforate-rugulate, staminodes 3–6, awl-shaped or narrowly deltoid; gynoecium ellipsoid,aperture margin similar or slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest asymmetrical, unilocular but vestigial locules evident, uniovulate, stigmasaxis 23–44 µm [2/2]. Pistillate flowers ± symmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, 3, recurved, papillose, ovule probably hemianatropous, pendulous. Fruit globose-obovoid, black or purplish at maturity, stigmatic remains near the base in lower 1/4; epicarp smooth but drying dimpled, mesocarp fleshy with sclerosomes, the principal fibres 4, 1 short from base to stigmatic remains, 1 looped over the endocarp and 2 laterally branched and anastomosing toward the apex, endocarp operculate, rather thick, less fragile than in most genera, grooved abaxially from operculum to apex and laterally, attached directly to the operculum. Seed shining brown, conspicuously grooved abaxially and laterally, raphe branches ascending adaxially, arched over the seed and laterally, anastomosing adaxially, hilum rounded; endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination adjacent ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 32. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Anatomy

  • Leaf (Tomlinson 1961), root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b) and fruit (Essig et al. 1999). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Fossil record

  • No generic records found. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Relationships

  • The monophyly of Bentinckia has not been tested. In one study, the genus resolves as sister to Clinostigma with moderate support (Baker et al. in review). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Taxonomic accounts

  • No recent treatment exists. See Gamble (1935). (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Bibliography

A. J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae