Iguanura mirabilis C.K.Lim, Gard. Bull. Singapore 48: 57 (1998)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Malayapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A
Terengganu, where it is limited but not uncommon in particular flood-prone swamp forests, sharing the habitat with I. humilis.

Discussion

  • This is indeed a spectacular new species, quite unlike any others within the genus in Peninsular Malaysia. The plicatc leaves are stiff, with deep apical clefts. and often blunt at the top edges (oar-shaped), sometimes with extended tips. The?leaves abciss cleanly and are entire. The taxon is clearly distinct from the polymorphn complex. although the curved fruit resemble those of I. polymorpha, and has been placed (together with I. parvula) for convenience with the trapezoidal leaflet members under the abscissing group.
    A small specimen with inflorescence had heen collected earlier from the same area but remained unidentified at Kew (J. Dransfield 5145): but no other collections had previously been deposited in KEP or SING. In Sarawak two species (I . sanderiana and I. elegans) may seem to have affinities, their leaves also being plicate and entire (although lobed forms have recently been found with variable apical clefts): however. these are solitary in habit, and the inflorescence and fruit are quite different, globose. with secds that are ribbed or ridged features not observed in Peninsular taxa of Igrlunrirrr. The new species has been a wonderful culmination for this stage of our palm studies, and the name I. rrrirahilis is surely appropriate. (Lim C.K. 1996. Unravelling Iguanura Bl. (Palmae) in Peninsular Malaysia. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 48: 2-64)B

Diagnosis

Description

  • Caespitose, stilt-rooted, with basal branches, dominant stems to 3m. I -2 cm diam., internodes 2-3cm. leaves eight to ten at crown, held stiffly with short petioles 3cm or less, abscissing, entire. lamina strongly plicate. 85cm x 28cm. with deep?(23cm) apical cleft. often with blunt truncated apical edges sometimes attenuated; leaf sheath 14cm; inflorescence among or below sheath, stout, horizontal or erect, with purple indumentum, 5 or more branches sometimes sub-branching, rachillae to 15cm or more, 4-6mm thick peduncle up to 10cm, l0mm x 5mm, often within sheath: buds prominent pink, with red indumentum. male flowers large 5mm wide when open. with pinkish sepals not examined in detail. Fruit curved (like I. polymorphu, also in size). white, ripening cherry red: seed not ridged. (Lim C.K. 1996. Unravelling Iguanura Bl. (Palmae) in Peninsular Malaysia. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 48: 2-64)B

Materials Examined