Rhapis L.f. ex Aiton, Hort. Kew. 3: 473 (1789)

Primary tabs

http://media.e-taxonomy.eu/palmae/photos/palm_tc_177964_2.jpg

Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Cambodiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
China South-Centralpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
China Southeastpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Hainanpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Japanpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Jawapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Laospresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nansei-shotopresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Sumaterapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Thailandpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Vietnampresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
About eight species in southern China, southwards through Indochina to peninsular Thailand, one species in northernmost Sumatra. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Discussion

  • Rhapis is distinguished by the leaf with few to manyfold truncate segments and divisions between the folds, and by the fleshy flowers with sepals and petals united basally, and stamens borne on the corolla. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Diagnosis

  • Slender clustering dioecious or polygamous fan palms with reed-like stems, from Southern China to Thailand and North Sumatra, often on limestone; instantly recognizable from the leaves divided between the folds into segments. (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

  • Undergrowth palms of dry evergreen forest; Rhapis subtilis and some other species seem to be confined to forest on limestone hills. (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

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

Etymology

  • Rhapis — rod, presumably alluding to the rod-like slender stems. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Uses

  • Widely grown as ornamentals; many dwarf varieties have been developed in Japan. See also McKamey (1983). Stems are used as sticks and canes. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A

Description

  • Small, clustering, unarmed, pleonanthic, dioecious or polygamous palms. Stems slender, reed-like, erect, covered with persistent leaf sheaths, eventually becoming bare, conspicuously ringed with leaf scars. Leaves induplicate, palmate, marcescent, divided to the base or to ca. 3/4 the radius between the folds into several-ribbed segments, apices divided along and between the folds to form shallow teeth; sheath composed of numerous, interwoven, black or grey-brown fibres, when young bearing sparse, caducous brown indumentum; petiole elongate, slender, ± elliptic in cross-section, margins smooth; adaxial hastula small, ± triangular, sometimes tomentose, abaxial hastula absent; blade palmate to deeply bifid, segments usually variable in number of ribs, position of splits precise, usually at a position about 2/3 the width of the interfold nearer the abaxial fold, the segment margins minutely toothed, blade glabrous, transverse veinlets conspicuous. Inflorescences interfoliar, usually very short, branching to 1–2 orders in pistillate, up to 3 orders in staminate; peduncle short, frequently entirely enclosed by the leaf sheaths; prophyll tubular, 2-keeled, splitting along the abaxial midline; peduncular bracts absent; rachis longer than the peduncle, bearing 1–2 large, tubular, single-keeled bracts, distal rachis bracts much smaller; rachis bracts each subtending a first-order branch adnate to the axis above the bract node and bearing very inconspicuous, narrow triangular bracts subtending second-order branches; second-order branches adnate to the first-order branches; rachillae glabrous or hairy, lax, spreading in pistillate and polygamous inflorescences, more crowded in staminate, rachillae bearing spirally arranged, solitary or rarely paired flowers in the axils of minute apiculate bracts. Staminate flowers symmetrical; calyx cup-shaped, thick, shallowly 3-lobed distally, the lobes somewhat irregular, triangular, glabrous or hairy; corolla fleshy, tubular, inserted above calyx and appearing ± stalked basally, the 3 lobes ± triangular, valvate, usually very short, sometimes ciliate at the margins; stamens 6, filaments elongate, but adnate along ± the entire length of the corolla tube, free at their very tip, anthers short, rounded, latrorse; pistillode minute, 3-lobed. Pistillate and distinct, wedge-shaped, each with a short apical style, distally expanded into a conduplicate, fimbriate, tube-shaped stigma, ovules basally attached, 1 in each carpel, hemianatropous, with a basal fleshy aril. Pollen ellipsoidal, usually with slight to obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, coarsely perforate, aperture margin slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 21–40 µm; post-meiotic tetrads tetrahedral [2/8]. Fruit usually developing from 1 carpel with apical stigmatic remains, more rarely 2 or 3 carpels developing, sometimes the stalk-like corolla base persisting and becoming a sub-woody fruit stalk; epicarp becoming purplish-brown or white, mesocarp fleshy, somewhat fibrous, endocarp thin, brittle. Seed with short lateral raphe, endosperm homogeneous, laterally penetrated by the seed coat; embryo subbasal or lateral. Germination remote-tubular; eophyll entire, slender, strap-shaped, plicate. Cytology: 2n = 36, 4n = 72. (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); plication development in the leaf (Kaplan et al. 1982b); stem vasculature (Zimmermann and Tomlinson 1965), roots (Seubert 1997), floral (Uhl et al. 1969). (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 Rhapis has not been tested. There is high support for a sister relationship with Guihaia (Uhl et al. 1995, Baker et al. in review), moderate support for a sister relationship with Rhapidophyllum (Asmussen and Chase 2001) and low support for a sister relationship with Maxburretia. (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

  • Hastings (2003). (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