Saribus chocolatinus (Dowe) C.D. Bacon & W.J. Baker, Palms 55: 112 (2011)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
New Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Papua New Guinea. In Central Province in the Kuriva area, in Gulf Province on hills near the Vailala R., and in Morobe Province near Lababia on Bulili Ridge. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Grows in isolated colonies, sometimes locally common, on slopes with calcareous or clayey soils, at 300-400 m alt. Flowers Jan-Feb; fruits Mar-May. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona chocolatina was first collected by Lane-Poole in 1922 as "Livistona sp. No. 332" (Lane-Poole, 1925) from "hills inland from Vailala River". It was collected again in 1998 by M. Ferrero, and then again in 2000 by Barfod et al., and from whose collections the type Barfod 466 was chosen. The species is distinguished by the usually spineless or only mildly spined petiole that initially has a thick coating of white waxy powder, smallish rigid leaves, a trifurcate inflorescence with each axis having multiple peduncular bracts, distinctive chocolate brown tomentum on the proximal surfaces of the partial inflorescences and rachillae, and globose fruit to 25 mm diameter that mature orange-red. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Vulnerable. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Hermaphroditic palm. Trunk to 22 m tall, 16-18 cm dbh, leaf scars slightly raised, internodes narrow, light grey, petiole stubs not retained. Leaves 30- 40 in a globose crown; petiole 110-155 cm long, slightly arching, green, proximally ca 3 cm wide, distally ca 2 cm wide, adaxially flat, glabrous with a cover of deciduous white waxy powder, margins usually spineless in mature plants, or with small single spines to 5 mm long only in the very basal portion in juvenile plants; leaf-base fibres course, brown, persistent until leaf fall then readily deciduous; appendage short; hastula ca 1 cm high, 5 cm across with a central division; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, subcircular, flat, rigid, 100-120 cm long and wide, adaxially mid grey green, abaxially light grey green, glaucous waxy; lamina divided for ca 44% of its length, with 45-60 segments, depth of apical cleft ca 4% of the segment length, apical lobes rigid; lamina moderately undulate, angles of undulations 91° or more usually much greater; mid-leaf segments 4-5 cm wide where the segments diverge; parallel veins 7-8 each side of midrib; transverse veins thicker than parallel veins. Inflorescences trifurcate with ± similar collateral axes, 195-225 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 3 orders, but with central axis slightly more robust than the lateral axes; each axis with 6-10 partial inflorescences; prophyll 22-37 cm long, 8-15 cm wide, glabrous, chartaceous, lacerate-fibrous at the apex, basally brown, distally yellow; peduncle of central axis subterete, to 2.8 cm diam.; peduncle of lateral axes terete, to 1.6 cm diam.; peduncular bracts 2-4; peduncular bracts glabrous, tubular, lacerate at the apex; rachis bracts 40-45 cm long, tightly tubular, fibrous, disintegrating at the apex with maturity, pubescent throughout but more densely so toward the apex, light reddish brown; bases of partial inflorescences with dense chocolate brown tomentum; rachillae 8-12 cm long, straight, subterete to angular, 2-3 mm thick, basally with chocolate brown tomentum, distally with creamgreen tomentum. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-4, tightly aggregated in bud and during anthesis, ca 1.2 mm high; sepals basally fused, lobes long, triangular, ca 1 mm long, red, apically acute, longitudinally nerved; petals triangular, obtuse, red, apically acute, ca 1 mm long, ca 1.2 mm wide at the base; connective very thin, ca 0.5 mm long; anthers ca 0.1 mm long; carpels ca 0.8 mm high, stigmas pointed. Fruit globose, ca 25 mm diam., shiny orange-red; epicarp with scattered lenticellular dots and light 3 mm long lines pointing in longitudinal direction toward the apex; stigmatic remains apical to slightly subapical; mesocarp fleshy, fibres thick, distributed throughout but more densely aggregated toward the endocarp and shallowly embedded in the surface of the endocarp; endocarp to 1 mm thick, bony; pedicel 4-5 mm long, 2 mm thick, jointed, green, with prominent scars of fallen flowers. Seed globose; endosperm intruded by the seed coat to ca two-thirds across, intrusion broadly kidney-shaped; embryo lateral. Eophyll 5- ibbed. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Morobe Prov. Lababia, Bulili Ridge, 400 m alt., Barfod 514 with Kjaer & Magun (AAU, LAE); Gulf Prov. Vailala R., hills inland, Lane-Poole 332 (BRI); Central Prov. Kuriva Mission, Ferrero 980080, 980081, 980083 (LAE); Central Prov. Kuriva Mission area, 4 km north of Haritano Hwy along forestry road, 9°00.821'S, 147°07.815'E, 300 m alt., Barfod 466 with Banka, Dowe & Kjaer (AAU holotype, BRI, CANB, K, LAE). Local and vernacular name: Manganau (Lababia language). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


    A. Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae)
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae