Aiphanes leiostachys Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 570 (1932)

Primary tabs

no image available


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Colombiapresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A


  • Aiphanes leiostachys is at present represented only by one collection, the neotype, collected in premontane wet forest at the northern end of the Cordillera Central in Colombia, where A. leiostachys is rare in a largely deforested area. The species was considered endangered by Bernal (1989). In the caespitose habit and the incised praemorse, cuneate pinnae it recalls A. erinacea, but pinnae of A. leiostachys are subregularly inserted instead of strongly grouped, borne in one plane instead of several, and very rigid, resembling those of A. lindeniana more than those of A. erinacea. Furthermore, the rachillae of A. leiostachys are glabrous, whereas those of A. erinacea are densely spinulose. Inflorescences of A. leiostachys are remarkable in having flowers right from the bases of the rachillae and in their lack of spinules. Pollen resembles that of A. lindeniana (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)B


  • Caespitose, with up to 10 stems, these 3.5-5 m tall, ca. 3 cm diam., gray, sparsely armed with slender spines, to 3 cm long. Leaves 11, horizontally held, arranged in 3 vertical rows; sheath ca. 18 cm long, with a dense light brown indument, densely armed with black, to 1 cm long spines; petiole 14-16 cm long, green, with a brown, caducous indument, armed with many black spines, to 5 cm long; rachis 102-108 cm long, with indument and spines like sheath, but spines fewer; pinnae 17-20 per side, subregularly inserted in lax groups of 2-4, in one plane, plicate, rigid, cuneate, 3-6 times as long as wide, incised-praemorse, with an up to 7 cm long finger-like projection on the distal margin, adaxial side glabrous, abaxial side very minutely spinulose, with a single black, 3-4 cm long spine basally on the midrib; basal pinnae 12-17 x 2-4 cm; middle pinnae 21-37 x 6-7 cm; apical pinnae 2-3 ribbed, 24-32 x 6-8.5 cm. Inflorescence interfoliar; prophyll green, 38 x 1 cm; peduncular bract ca. 122 cm long, 1.7 cm wide, brown, minutely spinulose, spineless; peduncle 87-96 cm long, 4 mm diam. at junction with rachis, covered with brown, ca. 3 mm long spinules, armed with few to many, black, to 5 cm long spines; rachis 34-45 cm long, with a loose whitish indument, unarmed; rachillae ca. 19, light green, with an indument like that on rachis, unarmed; basal rachillae 28-33 cm long, ca. 2 mm diam., with triads for 1/2 the length, distally staminate; apical rachillae ca. 8 cm long, stami-nate. Triads inserted in pits in the rachillae, exposed, pistillate flowers sunken for ca. 1/2 their length. Staminate flowers white, with a purplish brown corolla, 1.5-2 mm long; sepals narrowly triangular, ca. 1 x 0.5 mm; petals ovate-acuminate, free, 1.5-2 x 1.5-2 mm; filaments flattened, 0.5-0.9 mm long, anthers oval, 0.3-0.4 x 0.3-0.5 mm; pistillode trifid, ca. 0.5 mm tall. Pistillate flowers (before anthesis) 2.5-3 mm long; sepals broadly ovate, ca. 1 x 2-3 mm, enclosed in the floral pit; petals 2.5-3 x 2-2.5 mm, connate for 1/3 of their length, valvate distally; staminodial cup ca. 1.5 mm tall, truncate, teeth indistinct; pistil ca. 2 x 1 mm, glabrous, stigmas white. Fruits not seen. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)B