Desmoncus costaricensis (Kuntze) Burret, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 36: 202 (1934)

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From 9°34'-10°02'N and 82°36'-83°26'W on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica at 128(1-400) m elevation in lowland rainforest. (Henderson, A. 2011: A revision of Desmoncus (Arecaceae). – Phytotaxa 35: 1-88)A


  • Taxonomic notes:-Desmoncus costaricensis is characterized by its leaves with few spines and large pinnae. See Grayum (1998) for a discussion of the nomenclature of this species.
    Subspecific variation:-One specimen (Mora 580) is tentatively included here. It is from the same locality as other specimens of Desmoncus costaricensis but the leaf, possibly from a juvenile plant, is considerably smaller.


  • Plants 5.3(4.0-6.0) m tall; stems 1.9(1.3-2.3) cm diameter, clustered. Leaf petioles 10.5(8.0-15.5) cm long; rachises 74.8(67.0-80.0) cm long, 7.3(5.7-9.3) mm wide, the spines usually >1 cm long, mostly adaxial or lateral, straight with briefly swollen bases; pinnae 9(8-10) per side of rachis, without long, filiform apices, without a beard of spines at the bases adaxially, without spinules or dense tomentum at the bases adaxially; basal pinna 24.5(14.5-32.0) cm long, 5.7(3.0-9.0) cm wide; cirri well-developed, with acanthophylls, without spines abaxially, with intermediate acanthophylls present, 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 6.4(4.6-8.2) mm wide; peduncular bracts 20.5(15.0-28.5) 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 33, glabrous or scarcely tomentose initially; proximal rachillae 8.5 cm long, 1.0(0.7-1.2) mm wide; stamens 6; fruits 13.8(12.7-14.5) mm long, 11.3(9.1-13.8) mm wide, the surfaces uneven with numerous, subepidermal, short, often branching (Y-shaped) 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