Orania regalis Zipp. ex Blume, Rumphia 2: 116 (1843)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
New Guineapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
. Moluccas and New Guinea. In the Moluccas it is found near the modern town of Jabulenga on the island of Wokam, in the northern part of the Aru Archipelago. In New Guinea it is found so far only in Papua in both Northern and Southern parts of the "neck". In the northern part it is found around Wandammen National Park - about 80 miles northwest of Triton Bay (Baker et al. 2000) and Nabire - approximately 90 miles west of Triton Bay (Heatubun 1999 pers. comm.). In the southern part it has not been seen since Zippelius?s original collection in 1827. Zippelius mentions in his notes its presence in the mountain of Lamentsjerie close to a town called Lobo (present day Dobo?) not very far from Triton Bay and the district capital city Kaimana. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Habitat

  • Lowland to highland tropical rainforest. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Discussion

  • The presence of Orania regalis on Wokam Island, an island within the Aru Archipelago, is not surprising as the Aru Archipelago was connected to mainland New Guinea until some 10,000 years ago (Van Balgooy 1996). Concerning the nature of stamens, the protologue of both O. regalis and then O. aruensis clearly mentioned that the number is three with the anthers always free and so are the filaments. However, observations on a herbarium specimen from Bogor Botanic Garden kept in FI collected from bed no.XIIE.21, without date (Anonymous s.n.) reveal a different situation. In this specimen the number of stamens varies from three to five, but never more than five. Some of the anthers are united in pairs giving the appearance of three stamens. The filaments are always united. The herbarium specimens recently collected from living collections in Bogor Botanic Garden planted in bed XIIE.21 and 21a (AK32 and 33) have those united anthers and filaments. The same is also the case in the herbarium specimen taken from another living collection, which was still labelled as O. aruensis, planted in bed VH.63 (A. Keim AK 47). Observations made on herbarium specimens kept in the botanic garden labelled as collected from locations XII.E.21 and 21a by various collectors from different years of collecting show the united anthers and filaments. At first it was thought that those exceptions only occur in Bogor Botanic Garden as they were not found in herbarium specimens collected from other botanic gardens. However, the same phenomenon is also found in the most recently collected material from Wandammen Peninsula (W. Baker 1045). The specimen (C. Hetaubun CH 297) collected from Nabire, not very far from the Wandammen Peninsula has three stamens. Despite the differencein stamen number, the rest of the morphology exactly matches with the protologue of O. regalis. The presence of O. regalis in Bogor Botanic Garden was first recorded by Blume (1823) in the first edition of the list of plant collections in the botanic garden, unfortunately without the exact location (bed) where it was planted. Subsequent lists (Hasskarl 1844); Teijsmann & Binnendijk 1866) also record O. regalis but without location. The exact location of the collections of Orania in the botanic garden was mentioned in the fourth edition of the list (Anonymous 1892) as planted in beds II.F, II.J, X.D, XII.E and XIII.A. Unfortunately, neither O. regalis nor O. aruensis was mentioned. Boldingh (1914) wrote the fifth edition of the list and for the first time the exact bed of O. regalis (as O. aruensis) was mentioned, bed XII. E.21. An individual of O. regalis is still found in this bed. The detailed location in the garden where O. regalis was planted was mentioned in the sixth edition of the list (Dakkus 1930). In this edition O. regalis (as O. aruensis) was mentioned to be planted in II.F.5 - 5a. The other locations were in X.D 35 - 35a, XII.E.21 - 21a. O. regalis can still be found in these beds with the addition of V. H.63.We regard O. aruensis as a synonym of O. regalis, in contrast to previous workers . In the protologue of O. aruensis, Beccari (1877) himself mentioned the similarity and suggested an affinity, between the two taxa. Beccari stated that they differ mainly in their leaflets. In O. aruensis the apex of the leaflet is acuminate, but not in O. regalis. The middle nerve in O. aruensis continues to the apex of leaflet, but not in O. regalis. The rest of the description matches Orania regalis, including the obviously congested inflorescence and three stamens. The holotype of O. aruensis shows no differences from the description in the protologue of O. regalis, thus O. aruensis is no longer recognised here as distinct from O. regalis. O. regalis shares the presence of united anthers and filaments with O. zonae; however, these two species are straightforwardly distinct. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Conservation

  • Vulnerable (VU D2). Although Orania regalis has a wide extent of occurrence, only four unique localities have been recorded and the lowland forests where the palm occurs continue to bethreatened by clearance for agriculture and logging. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Etymology

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

Description

  • Large palm. Trunk up to 11 m high, c. 20 - 25 cm diam., internodes 15 - 20 cm, glaborus, greyish green. Leaves 8 - 10 in the crown, spirally arranged, c. 2.5 - 4.2 m long; leaf-sheath c. 60 cm long, 18 cm wide, margins disintegrating into fibres, fibres curly, c. 10 cm long; petiole about 4 - 4.5 cm diam. in the proximal, with dense red-brown tomentum; rachis c. 2 cm diam., leaflets elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged, 50 - 60 in one side of rachis, leaflets c. 5.0 - 6.0 cm distant, c. 1 - 1.6 m long, 6.5 - 7.2 cm wide, adaxial surface dark green, glabrous, with red brown tomentum on the midrib, midrib robust, other ribs slender, abaxial surface with dense white indumentum, red-brown tomentum on the margin, midrib robust, other ribs rather slender, more conspicuous than adaxial ones. Inflorescence congested, branching to 2 orders, c. 1.20 - 1.25 m long; prophyll persistent, c. 1 - 1.2 m long, heavily disintegrated into fibres when old; peduncle 60 - 62.5 cm long, glabrous, yellowish green; peduncular bract one, woody, c. 83 - 150 cm long, 10.5 - 11 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, splitting in the middle, proximally disintegrating into fibres; rachis c. 60 - 62.5 cm long, glabrous, yellowish green, rachis bract c. 2.5 - 3 mm long, 7 - 8 mm wide; first order branches c. 19 - 20 cm long, rachillae c. 12 - 20 cm long, slender, conspicuously zigzag, branching at convergent angle, bearing 30 - 60 flower clusters, bearing triads spirally arranged in the proximal 2=5, the basal c. 1.2 - 1.6 cm devoid of flowers, triads c. 1 - 1.5 cm distant, rachilla glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 4 - 7 mm long, 1 - 2 mm wide; stamens 3 - 5, commonly 3 (-rarely more), filaments free or united, dark brown, c. 1 mm long, anthers pale creamy yellow, c. 2.5 - 3 mm long, free or united, uniform or distinct, pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, c. 1 - 1.5 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, c. 5 - 7 mm long, 3 - 4 mm wide; staminodes 3, c. 0.4 - 0.5 mm long; gynoecium brown, c. 2 mm long; stigma with 3 elongate lobes, c. 1 mm long. Fruit globose or bilobed, dull green when young, bright/reddish orange when mature, c. 4.5 - 8.0 cm diam.; epicarp smooth, thin; mesocarp fibrous, c. 4 mm thick; endocarp thinner than mesocarp but thicker than epicarp, woody, brown, c. 1 mm thick; endosperm c. 3.5 - 3.6 cm diam., with a hollow, c. 1 cm diam. Embryo placed below middle line of seed. Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim & J. Dransfield, A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae) in Kew Bulletin 67. 2012)A

Materials Examined

  • INDONESIA. Moluccas. Aru Archipelago: ?Giabu-lengan? (Jabulenga), "Vokan" (Wokam) Island, May 1873, Beccari s.n. (BO!, FI!, K!, L!). Papua Barat. Sorong: Miso├Âl, Limalas Village, 19 Jan. 2002, R. A. Maturbongs RAM 693 (BO!, K!, LAE, MAN); Motlol, 22 Jan. 2002, C. Heatubun et al. CH 356 (K!, MAN). Manokwari: Senderawoi (Wosimi R.), 25 Feb. 2000, C. Heatubun CH 317 (AAU, BO!, K!, MAN); Wandammen Peninsula, Wasior distr., near Dotir village, 11 km N of Wasior, near the confluence of the Mawoi and Yois Rs., 2000, W. J. Baker 1045 (BO!, K!, MAN). Papua. Paniai: Nabire, 1998, C. Heatubun CH 297 (MAN!); Samabusa, 10 Feb. 2001, R.A. Maturbongs RAM 675 (BO!, K!, MAN). CULTIVATED. Java: Bogor Botanic Garden, bed II.F.5, 6 May 1902, J. C. Schoute s.n. (BO!, L!); Anonymous s.n. Communic. ex. Herb. Hort. Bot. Bog. no. 12 (BO!, L!); bed XII.E.21a, 16 Jan. 1999, A. Keim AK 32 (BH!, K!); bed XII.E.21, 16 Jan. 1999, A. Keim AK 33 (K!, MAN!); bed V.H.63, 17 June 1999, A. Keim AK 47 (BO!, K!); bed V.A.53, Anonymous s.n. (L!); bed XII.E.21, Anonymous s.n. (FI!). Singapore: Singapore Botanic Garden, Lawn o, 8 Oct. 1929, Nur s.n. (K!, SING); Lawn o, 10 Jan. 1933, Kiah SF 26189 (BO!, K!, SING). Sri Lanka: Peradineya Botanic Garden, 23 July 1886, Rutherford et al. R-146 (K!). (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
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae