Trachycarpus princeps Gibbons, Spanner & San Y.Chen, Principes 39: 73 (1995)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
China South-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
China, Yunnan, Nujiang county, 3 km NW of Bingzhongluo on the banks of the Nujiang, on the two almost vertical, bare
marble cliffs of the Shi Men Guan (Stone Gate) and below the cliffs in mixed, evergreen monsoonal rainforest on a black, humus-rich, alkaline soil (pH 7.5-8); 1,550-I,850 m a.s.l. (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Discussion

  • The description of the seeds is based on two mature and several empty old seeds only. As there is no recent taxonomic treatment of the genus Trachycarpu.s (but see Beccari 1931 and Kimnach 1977), relationships of T. princeps will be dealt with in a conspectus of the whole genus, which will appear in a later publication. (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Diagnosis

  • A ceteris speciebus vagina folii appendicibus tenuissimis ad 10 cm longis ferenti, petiolo valde glauco, lamina infra conspicue aho-ceracea ad medium regulariter in 45-48 segmenta divisa, forma fructus T. fortunei similis sed fructu minore mesocarpio glutinoso differt. (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Etymology

  • The specffic epithet (L. princeps, a prince) refers to the stately bearing of this palm and the majestic way it looks down from its lofty position on the sheer cliff faces (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Description

  • Solitary, very lightly armed, dioecious palm to about l0 m tall; trunk erect, slender, densely clothed in closely apressed, persistent, fibrous leafsheaths, around 22 cm diam. or bare, ringed, 13- 16 cm diam.; leaves l8-26, palmate, marcescent leaves few, sometimes forming a small skirt below the crown, petioles often persisting; leaf-sheath fibrouso relatively coarse, robust, about 45 cm long, abaxially densely covered in pale brown, woolly tomentum; leaf-sheath appendages approximately 10 cm long, very finely divided, upright at first, later strongly reflexed; petiole slender, arching, about 80 cm long, 0.8 cm high and 1.3 cm wide, slightly convex above, triangular below, strongly glaucous, very finely toothed along the margins; hastula shallowly triangular, 1 cm long, regular, crested; leaf-blade, semi- to 3/4 orbicular, 60-80 cm long from the hastula, 90-115 cm wide, dark green above, wax-white below, regularly parted for about half its length into 45-48 stiff, linear segments, tapering towards the apex from their broadest point; central segments 3-3.5 cm wide at the middle, lateral segments gradually more narrow irnd shorter, apex acute-notched, shortly bifid. Inflorescences few, solitary, interfoliar, slightly erect to horizontally arranged; male inflorescences about 50 cm long, branched to 4 orders; peduncle short; prophyll about l8 cm long, very broad; peduncular bract one, around 25 cm long, very broad, slighdy tomentose abaxially; rachis bracts 3, similar to peduncular bracts; rachillae 1-3 cm long, fine and very densely branched; female inflorescences about 75 cm long, branched to 3 orders; peduncle about 20 cm long, peduncular bract one, tubular, 30 cm long; rachis bracts 2, similar to ped. bract; rachillae short, 2- l0 cm, fleshy. Flowers not seen. Infructescence bright yellow when fruit are ripe; fruit small, on short stalks, slightly reniform to almost oval, wider than long, 0.8 cm long, 1.0 cm wide, 0.75 cm high; epicarp very thin, black, with a white bloom; mesocarp approximately 0.1 cm thick, spongyfibrous, coated in a very sticky substance; seed reniform, 0.6 cm long, 0.85 m wide, 0.55 cm high; endocarp pale beige, very thin, very slightly crustaceous sand-like layer on a red-brown skin; endosperm homogenous with a deep lateral intrusion; embryo lateral. Germination remote-tubular, eophyll simple, narrow, plicate, wax-white abaxially. (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Materials Examined

  • China, Yunnan, Nujiang county, Sitjitong, Aug. 1916, H. Handel-Mazzetti 9802 (Vienna); Nujiang county, Shi Men Guan, Aug. 1916, H. Handel-Mazzetti 9802 (Vienna); idem, Oct. 1994, Chen, Gibbons & Spanner I444O (holotype KUN, isotype K). (M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995)A

Bibliography

A. M. Gibbons, Trachycarpus princeps, the Stone Gate Palm ,an Exciting New Species from China. 1995
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae