Physokentia tete (Becc.) Becc., Atti Soc. Tosc. Sci. Nat. Pisa, Mem. 44: 153 (1934)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Vanuatupresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A

Discussion

  • The type of Physokentia Tete consists of a fruiting panicle, an inflorescence in bud, and two unattached pinnae. The pinnae appear to be praemorse at the apex, as described by Beccari and noted by myself when I examined the type. With further experience, I now wonder whether the pinnae are truly praemorse or merely appear so because of fraying, a not infrequent occurrence but not de-terminable from the photographs. New collections are required before a complete description can be provided, yet the species is abundantly distinct in the characteristics of the endocarp alone. (H. Moore, A synopsis of the Genus Physokentia. 1969)B

Description

  • Trunk 6-7 cm. in diam. Leaves probably regularly pinnate; central pinnae lanceolate-sigmoid, obliquely truncate and praemorse-toothed at the apex(?), ca. 60 cm. long, 5.5-6 cm. wide, with a prominent elevated mid-nerve and a prominent secondary nerve on each side, dull green above, the lower surface somewhat paler with minutely puncticulate nerves, the midnerve and 2 prominent lateral nerves also with rather prominent, brown, basifixed, membranous scales. Inflorescence short-pedunculate, broader than long, the axes with rather dense, substellate, brownish or white scales in bud, glabrous in fruit; upper bract brown, very thin; rachis angled, sinuous, with more than 7 branches; lower branches again branched into flexuous rachillae of the second order to 15 cm. long, upper branches furcate or simple; bracts subtending the triads prominent, acute; bracteoles surrounding the pistillate flowers very narrow, not conspicuously white-barbate on the upper margins. Staminate flowers ovoid, somewhat asymmetric and angled by mutual pressure, 5.5-6 mm. long, 3 mm. wide; sepals with strongly ciliolate margins; petals 2-3 times as long as the sepals; pistillode columnar, very slightly enlarged at the apex, nearly as long as the stamens in bud: pistillate flowers ovoid-conic in bud. Fruit globose, 2.5-2.6 cm. high, 2.3 cm. in diam., with excentrically apical stigmatic residue, smooth when dry; mesocarp fleshy, with few fibers; endocarp thick, slightly woody, 2.4 cm. high, 2.1 cm. wide and across, with prominent adaxial (ventral) keel, prominent abaxial (dorsal) keel, and 2 prominent ridges on each side, the surface rough and becoming rugose on each side of the adaxial keel, operculum rounded-angled; seed shaped as the endocarp, 1.7 cm. high, 1.4-1.5 cm. wide and across; endosperm homogeneous. (H. Moore, A synopsis of the Genus Physokentia. 1969)B

Materials Examined