Calamus bankae W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., Kew Bull. 57: 860 (2002)

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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
Known from a single collection in Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Discussion

  • This new species is known from only one pistillate specimen from Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea (Map 1). At first glance, it resembles a form of C. longipinna with grouped leaflets, but closer scrutiny reveals numerous characters to distinguish it as new (Fig. 1). In addition to the arrangement of the leaflets in three widely-spaced groups, the leaf bears rather few leaflets (c. 19 each side of the rachis). The smallest forms of C. vestitus may have as few as 20 leaflets each side, but C. bankae cannot be included in that species because its sheath and ocrea morphology is so different. The ocrea is tubular, lacking a congenital split, but it is fragile and readily tatters into papery shreds. It is armed throughout with numerous, fine, needle-like spines. Most striking though is the pistillate inflorescence morphology. Unlike all other members of the group, the primary branches are congested rather than lax, with the rachillae straight and inserted at an acute angle to the primary branch. The inflorescence in the available material consisted of a flagelliform peduncle to 1.4 m with just two primary branches inserted near the tip. This may be typical of the species, but it is conceivable that such a small number of branches is abnormal. Further collections are required to gain a clearer impression of the inflorescence morphology of this species. Calamus bankae is named for Roy Banka, Assistant Curator of the National Botanic Garden at the Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, Lae and co-collector of the type material, in honour of his significant contributions to the exploration of New Guinea palm botany and in recognition of his collaboration in the Palms of New Guinea project. (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Diagnosis

  • C. longipinnae Lauterb. et K.Schum. affinis sed foliolis paucioribus aggregatis vice regularibus, ocrea tubulari vice fissa, spinis ocreae acicularibus et ramis inflorescentiae pistillatae congestis vice laxis differt. (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Hill forest on karst limestone above riverside swamp forest, 50 m. (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Conservation

  • Data deficient. It is not possible to assess the conservation status of such a poorly known species. Large expanses of primary vegetation remain in Gulf Province and neighbouring areas of Papua New Guinea, but logging companies are active in the region (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Common Name

  • Not known (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Uses

  • Not known (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Description

  • Moderately robust, clustering rattan climbing to 15 m. Stem with sheaths c. 11 mm diam., without sheaths to c. 9 mm diam.; internodes c. 25 cm. Leaf ecirrate to 74 cm long including petiole; sheath pale yellowish green, occasionally with patches of very thin, orange-brown indumentum, spines numerous, 1 – 2.5 × 1 – 1.5 mm, triangular, solitary, some deflexed, very few erect, colour as sheath, but with black tips, sometimes with dark purple-brown scales; knee 20 – 22.5 mm long, 9 – 10 mm wide, colour as sheath, armature as sheath; ocrea 24 – 28.5 × 1.6 cm, inflated, tubular, splitting longitudinally with age, clasping and usually obscuring sheath, papery, tattering to fibres, persistent at first, but eventually disintegrating completely, brown, with numerous needle-like spines 2 – 4 mm long and scattered dark purple-brown scales; flagellum present, c. 150 cm long; petiole c. 20 cm, 5.5 × 2 mm at base, slightly channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, with scattered dark purple-brown scales, armed as sheath adaxially, with few solitary grapnels abaxially; rachis c. 39 cm, with indumentum as petiole, armed on abaxial surface with solitary and irregularly-grouped grapnel spines; leaflets c. 19 each side of rachis, arranged in three widely-spaced groups of 5 – 8 leaflets, leaflets regularly spaced within each group, but slightly divaricate, upper leaflets of middle group overlapping lower leaflets of upper group, linear, longest leaflet towards base 29.5 × 1.5 cm, mid-leaf leaflets 29 × 1.2 cm, apical leaflets 18 × 0.9 cm, apical leaflet pair not united, margins with bristles 0.5 – 1.5 mm, adaxial surface with bristles 1 – 3 mm on all major veins, abaxial surface with few bristles 1.2 – 2.5 mm on mid-rib only, leaflet with very few scales as petiole, transverse veinlets inconspicuous. Staminate inflorescence not seen. Staminate flowers not seen. Pistillate inflorescence very slender, flagelliform, 1.5 m long including 1.4 m peduncle, lacking flagelliform tip, branched to 2 orders; prophyll 28 × 0.5 cm, tubular, not splitting, with scattered dark purple-brown scales, with minute spines throughout; peduncular bracts 4, similar to prophyll, armed as prophyll, but also with scattered grapnel spines, rachis bracts 6 – 20 × 0.3 – 0.4 cm, tubular, tattering at mouth, with scattered indumentum of matted dark purple-brown scales, with numerous minute spines; primary branches 2, to 16.5 cm long, 4.5 cm apart, rather congested, with up to 13 rachillae, secondary bracts tattering, with armature and indumentum as rachis bracts; rachillae 8.5 – 20 mm × 4 mm, straight, erect; rachilla bracts 3 × 3 mm, distichous, funnel-shaped, tattering with age, with indumentum as rachis bracts; proximal floral bracteole 1.5 × 2.5 mm, distal floral bracteole 1.5 × 1.5 mm. Pistillate flowers 5.3 × 2.1 mm at anthesis; calyx 2.1 mm diam., tubular in basal 3 mm, with 3 lobes to 1.4 × 1.5 mm, with dark purple-brown scales; corolla 3.5 × 1.7 mm, tubular in basal 2.2 mm, with 3 lobes to 1.7 × 1.3 mm, glabrous; staminodes 6, 0.6 mm long, staminodal ring 1.4 mm high; ovary 2 × 1.5 mm, subglobose, style 0.7 mm long, stigmas 1 mm long. Fruit not seen. (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Materials Examined

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Gulf Province: Kikori District, Victory Junction, confluence of Sirebi and Kuru Rivers, 34 km north of Kikori, (S 7˚ 7’ 25.9”, E 144˚ 19’ 30.2”), Nov. 2000, Baker et al. 1097 (AAU!, K!, LAE!, NY!). (W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002)A

Bibliography

    A. W.J. Baker & J. Dransfield, Calamus longipinna (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) and its relatives in New Guinea. 2002
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae