Aiphanes acaulis Galeano & R.Bernal, Principes 29: 20 (1985)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Endemic to western Colombia, where only two small populations have so far been located, both in the department of Choco. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A




  • Solitary, acaulescent. Leaves 8-10, erect and arching, in vivo dark green; sheath 11-16 cm long, with a brown, scaly indument, covered with purplish, to 0.5 mm long spinules, usually also with a few black, short spines; petiole 12.5-50 cm long, with indument and spinules as on the sheath; rachis 42-75 cm long, densely covered with purplish black, to 5 mm long spinules, sometimes with a few, to 2 cm long spines; pinnae 18-30 per side, regularly inserted, all in one plane, linear or very narrowly cuneate, 6-10 times as long as wide, strongly plicate, rigid, truncate-praemorse at apex, with a 1-4 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, adaxial side often with a row of black, thin, 5-10 mm long spines along the midrib, abaxial side with scattered similar spines and 1-3 rigid spines on the basal part of the midrib; basal pinnae 7-24.5 x 0.71 cm; middle pinnae 10-27 x 1.7-2.5 cm; apical pinnae 1-3 ribbed, 6.5-15.5 x 4-6 cm. Inflorescence erect, spicate; prophyll 16-26 x 0.7-1.1 cm; peduncular bract 37-94 cm long, with scattered short spinules; peduncle 12-88 cm long, 3-5 mm diam. at junction with rachis, with scattered short spinules; spike 15-31 cm long, 5-6 mm diam., with minute, brown spinules, with triads for ca. 1/2 of the length, the remaining part with staminate dyads; flower groups sunken, pistillate flowers sunken for 1/2 of their length or more. Staminate flowers purple, 1.5-2.5 mm long; sepals arched, carinate, 1-1.5 x ca. 2 mm; petals shortly connate at base, 1.5-2 x 1-2 mm; filaments ca. 0.3 mm long, anthers oval, 0.3-0.4 x 0.3-0.5 mm; pistillode and receptacle forming a disc-shaped structure, ca. 0.6 mm high and 1.2 mm diam. Pistillate flowers ca. 3 mm long; sepals broadly ovate to reniform, 1-1.5 x 3-4 mm; petals connate for ca. 1/2 of their length, valvate distally, 2-2.5 x 2-2.5 mm; staminodial cup 1.5-2 mm high, truncate with 6 minute teeth; pistil glabrous. Fruit not seen. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Materials Examined

  • COLOMBIA. CHOCÓ: Mun. de El Carmen de Atrato, road Medellín-Quibdo, km 151, vereda El Doce, Rio Atrato, left bank, 700 m, 5 Jan 1980 (fl), Bernal & Galeano 72 (COL, HUA); Mun. de Quibdo, San Francisco de Icho, Rio Icho, left bank, 150 m, 11 Jul 1981 (fl), Galeano & Bernal 454 (COL, HUA, K); ca. 5 km E of Tutunendo on the rd. to Medellín, 150 m, 7 Jul 1986 (infl), Bernal et al. 1079 (AAU, COL, FTG). (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A