Desmoncus moorei Henderson, Phytotaxa 35: 35 (2011)

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From 9°35'-11°55'N and 82°36'-85°25'W on the Caribbean slope of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with an outlier in the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica at 138(1-700) m elevation in lowland rainforest and forest margins along rivers. (Henderson, A. 2011: A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae). – Phytotaxa 35: 1-88)A


  • Taxonomic notes:-This species is named for Harold E. Moore (1917-1980) of Cornell University, preeminent student of palms. Hammel et al. (2003) identified the specimens included here as Desmoncus schippii Burret. The type of this is no longer extant and it is therefore treated here as an Excluded Name. Desmoncus moorei is similar to D. chinantlensis but differs in its spinulose pinnae bases, tomentose rachillae, and fewer stamens (6 versus 8-11). Specimens dry a distinctive dark brown color compared to D. chinantlensis.
    Subspecific variation:-Intermediate acanthophylls and adaxial beards of spines at the pinnae bases are much less well-developed than in similar species. The specimen from the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is tentatively included here. It has narrower pinnae than other specimens. Sterile, juvenile plants from the same locality have numerous, linear pinnae and appear quite distinct. However, there is only one fertile specimen from Nicoya. (Henderson, A. 2011: A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae). – Phytotaxa 35: 1-88)A


  • Plants 9.4(1.0-32.5) m tall; stems 2.4(1.6-3.4) cm diameter. Leaf petioles 2.1(1.0-4.0) cm long; rachises 96.1(70.0-113.0) cm long, 9.6(6.7-12.0) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 18(15-20) per side of rachis, without long, filiform apices, with an adaxial beard of spines at the bases, with uneven surfaces at the bases adaxially, covered with spinules; basal pinna 18.4(16.0-20.0) cm long, 1.5(1.2-1.8) cm wide; cirri well-developed, with acanthophylls, without spines abaxially, with intermediate acanthophylls present (i.e., distalmost pair of pinnae reflexed as acanthophylls and with swollen bases and/or proximalmost acanthophylls like vestigial pinnae), without a wide gap between pinnae and acanthophylls. Inflorescences with the rachis ridged, not twisted, much thicker than the numerous, closely spaced and spirally or irregularly arranged rachillae, each rachilla not or only briefly adnate to the rachis, subtended by an acute bracteole and with a well-developed axillary pulvinus; peduncles 5.8(3.2-7.7) mm wide; peduncular bracts 37.8(25.5-54.5) cm long, broad, the surfaces ribbed, brown tomentose, sparsely to densely covered with long, straight or sinuous, briefly swollen-based, diagonally or vertically oriented spines, these flattened or triangular in cross-section, whitish-brown proximally, black or brown distally, with tomentose margins; rachillae 30(19-38), brown tomentose initially; proximal rachillae 14.2(11.5-18.0) cm long, 1.2(0.8-1.4) mm wide; stamens 6; fruits 12.6(11.1-14.3) mm long, 11.4(10.2-13.8) mm wide, the surfaces uneven with numerous, subepidermal, short, often branching (Yshaped) fibers; fruiting corollas less than one quarter as long as fruits, splitting irregularly into 3 lobes, the lobes often splitting again; endocarps globose to obovoid with rounded or slightly peaked apices, the pores lateral. (Henderson, A. 2011: A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae). – Phytotaxa 35: 1-88)A


    A. Henderson, A. 2011: A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae). – Phytotaxa 35: 1-88