Orania deflexa A. P. Keim & J. Dransf., Kew Bulletin 67: 182 (2012)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
New Guinea present (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A
Endemic to Papua New Guinea (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Habitat

  • Disturbed montane forest at altitude of 1400 m. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Discussion

  • The decurving leaf orientation is so far unique to Orania deflexa, thus a very good character for field identification. O. deflexa is also known as one of the three Malesian species that possess the three branching orders inflorescences, the other two are O. gagavu and O. glauca. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Conservation

  • Critically endangered (CR B1 B2). When the type collection was made in 2006, the population was estimated to be fewer than 100 individuals, growing in an area much disturbed by an active gold mine (W. J. Baker, pers. comm.). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Etymology

  • Decurving (arching downwards), referring to the leaf orientation. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Description

  • Medium to large palm. Trunk to 10 m high, 20 cm diam. near the crown, internodes 2 - 3 cm. Leaves 11 in crown, spirally arranged, 330 cm long; leaf-sheath 80 cm long, 6 - 7 cm wide, densely covered with redbrown tomentum, margin disintegrating into fibres; petiole 90 cm long, 3 cm diam., strongly decurving (arching downwards) giving the crown drooping appearance, adaxial surface densely covered with wax and creamy brown tomentum, abaxial surface sparsely covered with wax; leaflets elongate-lanceolate, total 102, irregularly arranged in lower 2=3 of rachis, in terminal 1=3 rachis more or less regular, held in more than one plane in middle half of leaf giving at least 1=2 a plumose appearance, the proximal 3 - 4 leaflets crowded 0.5 - 1 cm distant in a group, otherwise 7 cm distant in middle part of rachis, distance between 2 leaflets in the proximal part 1 cm, otherwise 5 - 7 cm distant in middle part of rachis, leaflets c. 90 - 95 cm long, 5 - 5.5 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, red-brown tomentum on midrib, midrib thick, other ribs slender, glabrous, abaxial surface densely covered with white indumentum and wax, midrib massive, other ribs glabrous and slender. Inflorescence spreading, branching to 3 orders, 180 cm long, densely covered with red-brown tomentum; prophyll persistent, disintegrating into fibres from top to base, 40 × 17 cm; peduncle 65 cm, covered with dense creamy brown tomentum; peduncular bract 1, woody, splitting in the middle, persistent, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface densely covered with red-brown tomentum; rachis 115 cm long, covered with dense creamy white indumentum and red-brown tomentum; first order branches 75 cm long, densely covered with red-brown tomentum; second order branches 3 - 5 cm long, densely covered with red-brown tomentum; rachillae slender, straight, not conspicuously zigzag, fairly glabrous, 29 - 32 cm long, bearing 100 - 110 flower clusters, bearing arranged triads in the proximal 2=3 and paired staminate flowers in the distal 1=3 of rachilla, the basal 0.5 cm devoid of flowers, triads 1 cm distant, rachilla surface fairly glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute, scale-like sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, 7 - 8 × 2 - 3 mm; stamens 6, filaments free, dark brown, c. 1 mm long, anthers elongate-lanceolate, pale creamy-yellow, always free, c. 3 mm long each; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 minute united sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, 6 × 4 mm, creamy yellow to yellow or orange when mature; staminodes 6, ½ as long as the gynoecium; gynoecium dark brown, 4 × 5 mm; stigma of 3 elongate lobes. Fruits unknown. Embryo unknown. Eophyll unknown. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Materials Examined

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Morobe: Near Bulolo, Hidden Valley, near Mount Kaindi, close to Wau, 07°19'1.7"S 146°37'26.5"E, 8 Sept. 2006, W. J. Baker 1319 (holotype K!; isotypes BO!, LAE). (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Bibliography

    A. A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012