Areca brachypoda J.Dransf., Kew Bull. 39: 8 (1984)

Primary tabs


Borneo, Sarawak, 1st Division, G. Pueh Forest Reserve, known only from the type. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A


  • In the field I had identified this palm as Pichisermollia subacaulis (Areca subacaulis), and it was not until I examined the material in detail back at Kew that I realized that what I had collected was a new species. A brachypoda belongs to section Microareca; the interfoliar inflorescence isolates it from other species of the section except for A. subacaulis. The latter is easily distinguished by the rachillae ending in conspicuous stiff points devoid of flowers, by the fusiform rather than globu- lar flowers and by the 7-9 as opposed to 15-16 stamens. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A


  • acaulescens, ad sectionem Microarecam pertinens, inflorescentia interfoliacea et pedunculo longissimo A. subacaulem (Becc.) J. Dransf. valde simulans sed rachillis flores staminatos usque ad apicem ferentibus et flore staminato ± aeque lato ac longo staminibus 15-16 gaudenti differt. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A

Biology And Ecology

  • In G. Pueh Forest Reserve, A brachypoda is quite common in kerangas forest where it seems to be confined to sloping ground near valley bottoms at an altitude of about 50 m above sea level. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A


  • The specific epithet refers to the short stem. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A


  • Acaulescent, solitary, undergrowth palmlet. Stem very short, subterra- nean, to c. 6 X 2.5 cm, bearing very close leaf scars and abundant adventiti- ous roots, c. 3 mm diam. Leaf sheaths 11 cm long, c. 7 cm in basal circumference, marcescent, forming only an obscure crownshaft, splitting along ± entire length opposite the petiole, tinged dull brownish-red, longitudinally striate, bearing scattered, minute blackish scales; ligule absent. Leaf excluding sheath c. 115 cm, including petiole to 41 x 0.5 cm; lamina bifid, gradually widening from the insertion to c. 12 cm wide, at the base of the cleft at c. 1/2 the total lamina length, the lobes decreasing to c. 4 cm wide at the apex, c. 10 folds on each side of the rachis, the apical margins very briefly lobed, with lobes corresponding to the folds; adaxial lamina surface dark dull green, abaxial surface slightly paler. Inflorescence interfoliar. branching to 1 order only; prophyll to 50 x 1.25 cm, flattened, pale green, bearing obscure, scat- tered pale brown scales; peduncle becoming arcuate, c. 40 cm long, ? elliptic in cross section becoming striate on drying, bearing abundant dark brown scales; rachillae 3 (? rarely more), spreading, sinuous, c. 13 x 0.3 cm, pale green, bearing scales as on the peduncle, the basal c. 2 cm bare of flowers; triads confined to the mid-portion of the central rachilla (the main axis), the lateral rachillae without triads or with a few in the proximal c. 1/3, the rest of the rachilla bearing rather distant, spirally arranged, solitary or paired staminate flowers. Staminate flower trigonous, ± as broad as long; calyx to 2 mm, the base slightly stipitate, apically with 3 slightly imbricate, low, ciliate triangular lobes, the surface minutely papillose to scaly; corolla c. 3-5 mm, with 3 broad, triangular, valvate, glabrous petals joined only at the very base; stamens 15-16 crowded into an ill-defined ring, the anthers aligned ± radially rather than circumferentially; filaments free, slender 0.3-0.8 mm, anthers somewhat misshapen, 1-1.5 mm X 0.4 mm, latrorse (with respect to connective); pistillode lacking, though floral apex ? visible. Pistil- late flower broadly ellipsoidal c. 12 X 5-5 mm; calyx c. 6 mm, with a solid base to 2.5 mm, and 3 broad, triangular, somewhat cucullate, ciliate, scaly, imbricate sepals, to 5 x 6 mm; petals 3, free glabrous, c. 9 x 6 mm, imbri- cate in the proximal portion, valvate in distal c. 2 mm, the imbricate margins ciliate; staminodes 8 (? always), minute, flattened; ovary ellipsoidal, c. 9 x 3 mm, tipped by 3 broad, triangular stigmas to 2 x 1.5 mm. Young fruit green tinged brownish, fusiform, to 22 x 5 mm; tipped by the stigmatic remains; mature fruit not known. (Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo)A


    A. Dransfield, J. 1984: The genus Areca (Palmae: Arecoideae) in Borneo