Burretiokentia hapala H.E.Moore, Principes 13: 67 (1969)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (https://github.com/tdwg/wgsrpd)
New Caledonia present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)A


  • Burretiokentia hapala (from hapalus - soft to the touch) was thought at first to be a species of Basselinia, despite its robust habit, because of the very densely woolly rachillae in which the staminate buds appear to be sunken. The actual axis is, in fact, rather slender, measuring only 4-5 mm. in diameter, but the long hairs which obscure the axis and all but the tips of the flowers make it appear much thicker. It is the long hairs that suggest the epithet. Examination of staminate buds and dissection of one fruit recovered from a fallen inflorescence, together with additional immature fruits from Lavoix 25, show that the correct genus for this striking palm is the previously monotypic Burretiokentia, This second species is readily distinguished from Burretiokentia vieillardii by the woolly rather than glabrous rachillae; by the fruit which is ovoid and attenuate toward the apex (when not perfectly mature) rather than nearly globose when fresh; and by the endocarp and seed with the adaxial keel higher than the lateral ridges rather than lower. (Moore Jr., H.E. 1969: New palms from the Pacific, II. – Principes 13: 67-76)B


  • Ab Burretiokentia Vieillardii rachillis dense et longe tomentosis 14-15 mm. in diam., fructibus ovoideis ca. 16 mm. long is infra medium latissimis differt. Stem solitary, dark green with prominent pale nodes, erect, to 10 m. high, ca. 7.3 cm. in diam. near enlarged base, ca. 5.7 cm. D.B.H., the internodes ca. 12.5 cm. long. Leaves ca. 10, spreading; sheath ca. 1 m. long, olive-green (but inner sheaths pinkish before exposure), densely covered with gray-brown tomentose scales, or brown-puncticulate where scales have been worn or rubbed off, with prominent oblique lines from petiole base toward the line opposite the petiole; petiole very short, ca.5 cm. long above dry margin of sheath, green, concave above, convex below, where clothed with brown-centered, pale-margined, waxy scales or merely brown-puncticulate from persistent scale bases; rachis ca. 2.4 m. long, lower surface rounded and rather densely brown-puncticulate or with brownish-tomentose scales where protected, upper surface channelled with marginal grooves near base, to deltoid at apex and rather densely pale-tomentose scaly or brown-puncticulate: pinnae about 40 on each side, regularly arranged, narrowly elliptic in general outline, tapered to a strongly reduplicate base and an obliquely acute apex, dull green, irregularly and sparsely brown-puncticulate above, paler and densely brown-membranous-lepidote or brown-puncticulate below, the midnerve prominent and elevated above, clothed below, at least basally, with shining, brown, basifixed or medifixed, lacerate, membranous scales, secondary nerves ca. 5 on each side, prominent below and clothed basally with scales like those of the midnerve, tertiary nerves numerous, lower pinnae ca. 5.5 dm. long, 2 cm. wide, median pinnae ca. 9 dm. long, 5 cm. wide, apical pinnae ca. 3.3 dm. long, 3 cm. wide. Inflorescences 3-4 (in type) among the leaves, about twice as broad as long, densely pale-brown tomentose in all parts except at the base below the insertion of the first bract; bracts 2, green in bud (not obtained); peduncle very short, ca.5-6 cm. long; rachis ca. 13-16 cm. long to base of terminal flowering portion; branches ca. 13-14, the lowest branches spreading, nearly as long as entire inflorescence, with short peduncular portion, divided into ca. 7 rachillae to ca. 35 cm. long, 14 mm. in diam. (in staminate bud). median branches with 2-3 rachillae, the apical 6-7 rachillae undivided, to ca. 34 cm. long, 14 mm. in diam. (including a central axis 4-5 mm. in diam. clothed with intermixed brown and white hairs to 5 mm. long). Staminate flowers 5-5.5 mm. long, essentially symmetric; sepals 2.5-3 mm. long, about half as long as petals, broadly imbricate, glabrous except minutely fimbriate margin; petals ca. 3.5 mm. long; stamens 6, filaments sharply inflexed at the apex in bud, anthers ca. 2.5 mm. long with sterile portion in center of each locule laterally; pistillode angled-columnar, truncate, about one-half as long as stamens: pistillate flowers (from a flower remaining on an old inflorescence branch) ca. 6 mm. long; sepals ca. 3 mm. long, broadly imbricate and rounded; petals about 6 mm. long; staminodes apparently 3, dentiform. Fruit (not completely mature, from Lavoix 25) ovoid, 16 mm. long, 9 mm. in diam., drying granulose-roughened; stigmatic residue exactly apical; endocarp (from type) 10 mm. long, 8 mm. in diam., the hilar keel about as long as the lateral processes, the surface more or less roughened, the lateral processes flanking a dorsal groove; seed shaped like the endocarp, 8 mm. high, 6.5 mm. in diam.; endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. (Moore Jr., H.E. 1969: New palms from the Pacific, II. – Principes 13: 67-76)B

Materials Examined

  • New Caledonia: in gallery forest along stream in Melaleuca savanna, on road to Parari from Balade, alt. ca. 350 m., 8 April 1964, H.E. Moore, Jr., R. Barets, L. Chevalier and L. Lavoix 9324 (BH. holotype); same locality, 20 Sept. 1965, L. Lavoix 25 (BH). (Moore Jr., H.E. 1969: New palms from the Pacific, II. – Principes 13: 67-76)B


    A. World Checklist of Arecaceae
    B. Moore Jr., H.E. 1969: New palms from the Pacific, II. – Principes 13: 67-76