Eremospatha dransfieldii Sunderl., Kew Bull. 58: 988 (2004)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Ghanapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
The main distribution is centred in the Western Region of Ghana and eastern Ivory Coast with additional populations in Sierra Leone. (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Discussion

  • Notwithstanding the long history of botanical fieldwork in the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa and despite their economic importance (Falconer 1992, Oteng-Amoako and Obiri-Darko 2001, Sunderland et al. 2005) the rattan palms of the region were, until recently, particularly under-represented in herbaria. Three species of Eremospatha were previously recorded from the region; E. macrocarpa, E. laurentii and a third taxon, comprising a few incomplete voucher specimens which were frequently assigned to E. hookeri. Due to the significant morphological and ecological differences between these this latter taxon and E. hookeri, doubts concerning the identification of "E. hookeri" from Upper Guinea were expressed by Sunderland (2001). Further collections confirm that this species is indeed a distinct taxon. (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Diagnosis

  • E. laurentii De Wild. affinis sed foliolis in utroque latere rachidis usque ad 20 - 40, forma variabilissima obovatis-late ellipticis ad oblanceolatis-rhomboideis, basi obtusatis cuneatis, ad apicem late ad perlate praemorsis (12 - 30 cm longis x 3.5 - 5.5 cm latis) differt. (T.C.H Sunderland, Two new species of rattan (Palmae: Calamoideae) from the forests of West and Central Africa. 2003)C

Biology And Ecology

  • E. dransfieldii is a light demanding species found particularly along forest margins, in tree-fall gaps and along roadsides. The species is restricted to areas of high rainfall (>2,000mm) and is locally abundant where it occurs. (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Conservation

  • Least concern (LC). (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Etymology

  • This species is named after Dr John Dransfield, palm specialist of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Description

  • Clustered robust rattan palm climbing to 40 m long. Stems circular in cross-section, without sheaths, 18-24 mm in diameter, with 25-30 mm; internodes 10-16 cm. Leaf sheath lightly striate, indumentum absent, but sheath often profusely covered with orange-brown scale insects; ocrea entire, obliquely truncate, extending for 1-2 cm above the leaf junction; knee conspicuous, narrowly linear, 2-4 cm long, rather abrupt at base. Leaves sessile, up to 3.5m long; rachis 1.2-1.5m long, abaxially rounded, adaxially convex to concave, becoming trapezoid then triangular in cross-section distally, armed along the margins with robust reflexed, bulbous-based, yellow-orange, spines, becoming more sparsely armed distally; cirrus 1.2-1.5 m long, unarmed; leaflets up to 40 on each side of the rachis, inequidistant, opposite to sub-opposite, highly variable in shape, obovate-ellipticus to oblanceolate to rhomboid, obtusely cuneate at base, more or less praemorse at apex, 12-30 cm long × 3.5-5.5 cm broad; lowermost leaflets, smaller than the rest, linear, strap-like or broadly-lanceolate, armed along the margins with robust bulbous-based yellow to orange spines, laxly swept back across, or tightly clasping stem; acanthophylls 3-4 cm long. Flowers and fruits unknown. (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Materials Examined

  • SIERRA LEONE: Gledhill 309, Lake Soufon, sterile, February 14, 1966 (K!, GC!); Scott-Elliot 4442, Mofani, sterile, January 12, 1892 (K!); Small 832, Kambui Hills (07º05N:11º20W) sterile, November 4, 1952 (K!); GHANA: Hall & Abbiw 45124, Subiri Forest Reserve (05º17N:01º43W) sterile, January 2, 1975 (GC!); Moore & Enti 9888, Ankasa River Forest Reserve (05º15N:02º36W) sterile, March 3, 1971 (GC!); Sunderland 2261, Draw River Forest Reserve (05º12N:02º20W) sterile, May 26, 1999 (K!, KUM!); Tomlinson s.n., Bobiri Forest Reserve (06º38N:01.17W) juvenile, December 20, 1957 (K!) (T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012)A

Bibliography

    A. T.C.H Sunderland, A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) in Phytotaxa 51. 2012
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae
    C. T.C.H Sunderland, Two new species of rattan (Palmae: Calamoideae) from the forests of West and Central Africa. 2003