Areca chaiana J.Dransf., Kew Bull. 39: 10 (1984)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Borneopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Borneo, Sarawak, 2nd Division, known only from the type (J. Dransfield, The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo. 1984)A


  • This curious species is the only member of the genus with a truly spicate inflorescence. So anomalous did the aspect of the palm appear to me in the herbarium, that at first I thought it might be a species of Nenga; however, examination of the flowers and fruit indicates affinity with Areca rather than Nenga and it must be regarded as an aberrant member of section Microareca. (J. Dransfield, The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo. 1984)A


Biology And Ecology


  • Erect, solitary undergrowth palm. Stem to 2-5 m tall, c. 1-8 cm diam., internodes c. 1.7-2 cm, bearing caducous chocolate brown scales; nodal scars to 4 mm wide. Crownshaft well-defined, light greenish yellow when fresh, drying mid-brown, 27 x 3 cm; leaf sheaths neatly abscising, c. 17 cm long, longitudinally striate, bearing sparse, minute, brown scales; ligule to 3 cm, soon tattering. Leaf pinnate, excluding sheath to 85 cm, including petiole to 15 x 0.3 cm; leaflets about 10 on each side of the rachis, ± close, mostly 1-4 ribbed except for the broader terminal pair which may be 4-8 ribbed, con- colorous, drying greenish brown, proximal leaflets c. 26 x 2.3 cm, mid-leaf leaflets c. 36 x 0.7-2.5 cm, apical pair c. 20 x 2.5-5.5 cm, all acuminate except for apical leaflets which are lobed; minute scales abundant on both surfaces. Inflorescences infrafoliar, simply spicate, to c. 15 cm, arcuate; prophyll winged, (only fragments available); peduncle short c. 20 x 7 mm diam. (at insertion of prophyll) greenish cream when fresh, drying dark, bearing scattered pale scales, proximal c. 1/3 of axis bearing numerous spirally arranged triads, distal portion bearing spirally arranged, solitary or paired staminate flowers, subtended by relatively conspicuous triangular rachilla bracts c. 1 x 1 mm. Staminate flower rather irregularly flattened due to close packing; calyx base stipitate, c. 1 x 0.5 mm, flattened, glabrous; calyx lobes narrow-triangular, c. 2 x 0.5 mm, keeled, the margins minutely ciliate; petals variable, striate c. 9 x 2-3.5 mm; stamens 6, ± epipetalous, filaments c. 2 x 0.2 mm, anthers medifixed, ± divergent at tip and base, c. 5.5 x 0.5 mm, latrorse; pistillode absent. Pistillate flower sessile; sepals 3, ovate, imbricate, cucullate, minutely scaly, striate, c. 8 x 4 mm; petals 3, ovate, imbricate except at the very tip, minutely ciliate at margins, c. 7 X 3 mm; staminodes ?6, minute; ovary ± fusiform, c. 6 x 1.2 mm. Mature fruit ± fusiform and somewhat curved at the tip, c. 30 x 8 mm, with apical stigmatic residue c. 2 mm diam.; pericarp drying dull brown, longitudinally striate; seed basally attached filling a space c. 20 x 6 mm, shrinking to 12 x 5 mm. (J. Dransfield, The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo. 1984)A