Laccosperma opacum Drude, Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 35: 635 (1877)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Benin present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Cameroon present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Central African Republic present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Equatorial Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Gabon present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Ghana present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Guinea present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Gulf of Guinea Is. present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Liberia present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Nigeria present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Zaire present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Laccosperma opacum ranges from Liberia and Ivory Coast to Cameroon, Gabon and the Congo Basin to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This taxon is the only species of rattan known to occur on the island of Bioko. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A

Biology And Ecology

  • Tolerant of deep shade, L. opacum is commonly found in high forest in the lower to mid-canopy. This species prefers well-drained soil and is the only species of rattan found on basalt and other volcanic soil types. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • Least concern (LC). (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • (Latin) "darkened" or "dull"; refers to dark green leaflets. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


  • Clustered slender palm climbing to 10-15 m. Stem, often branching, without sheaths up to 15 mm in diameter, with ca.20 mm; internodes 10-20 cm long. Leaf sheath moderately to sparsely armed with black tipped, pale coloured bulbous-based, upward pointing or reflexed spines; sheaths near inflorescence occasionally very sparsely armed; black caducous indumentum present on mature sheaths; ocrea 12-30 cm long, gradually tapering at the apex, papyraceous and tattering, pale straw-coloured without, dark shiny brown within, armed with black-tipped spines with pale bulbous bases, particularly at apex. Leaves up to 1.2 m long; petiole to 12 cm long × 0.8 cm wide, abaxially rounded, adaxially flattened, armed along the edges with up to 1 cm-long, inequidistant, black spines with pale bulbous bases, spreading or reflexed; rachis to 60 cm long, rounded or somewhat angular in cross section, armed as the petiole, the spines decreasing in size distally; cirrus to 50 cm long armed as the rachis, although spines becoming sparse distally; leaflets composed of 2-4s fold, 10-12 on each side of the rachis, inequidistant and unequal in size, usually sub-equidistant proximally and borne in pairs distally, sigmoid, 1-5-costulate, the largest 20-30 cm long × 2.5-10 cm broad at widest point, ± concolorous, with prominent transverse veinlets and numerous, rather distant, small spines on the margins; acanthophylls to 2.5 cm long. Inflorescences, numbering 4-8, produced simultaneously in distal 30-50 cm of stem; peduncle ca.10 cm long; prophyll ca.4 cm; lower bracts up to 2 cm long, gradually decreasing distally, with a short triangular acuminate lobe, closely adpressed to the next bract, finely striate; rachillae to 10 cm long, spreading, densely clothed with striate imbricate bracts + 4 mm distant, each with a rather wide mouth and short apiculum to 1 mm; bracteoles minute. Flowers 8 mm long × 2 mm wide; calyx, tan-cream, 4 mm long, tubular in the basal 2 mm, with 3 triangular striate lobes 2 mm long × 2 mm wide; petals cream or white, 9 mm long × 2.5 mm wide, lanceolate with a blunt triangular tip; stamen-filaments to 3 mm long × 1 mm wide, minutely epipetalous and united into a very short (<1 mm) basal tube; anthers to 3 mm long 1 mm wide, ovary 1 mm in diameter, stigma to 5 mm long. Fruit rounded, somewhat depressed apically, ca.1.2 cm in diameter, covered in 12-14 vertical rows of pale brown scales with slightly paler margins and each with a central furrow. Seed sub-globose, 6-8 mm in diameter, covered in polygonal rounded depressions, deeply scalloped on one side. (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A

Materials Examined

  • GUINEA-CONAKRY: Wolfert 1910, Ntume, sterile, 1911 (FI!); Liberia: van Meer 264, 7 km from Bababli (06º08N:09º55W) Fl., December 12, 1965 (MO!); GHANA: Adams 2407, Awaso, Western Region (06º15N:02º17W) sterile, December 24, 1953 (GC!); Cummins 229, Kumasi (06º40N:01º39W) Fr., 1995 (K!); Enti 614, Bimpong Forest Reserve, Foso (05º43N:01º28W) Fr., February 16, 1972 (GC!, MO!, BR!); Hall 2748, Kakum Forest Reserve (05º26N:01º19W) Fl., November 20, 1964 (K!, GC!); Irvine 502, Ashantia, Ashanti, sterile, April 30, 1927 (GC!); Irvine 2075, Awisa (07º49N:02º07W); Fl., December 1933 (K!, GC!); Irvine 2300, Atwabo, Western Region (05º18N:02º03W) Fl., February 28, 1934 (GC!); Moore 2115, SS Forest Reserve, sterile, December 1920 (K!); Morton 3618, Awaso, Western Region (06º15N:02º17W) Fl., December 3, 1958 (K!, GC!); Vigne 1365, Banka, S. Ashanti (06º17N:01º14W) Fl., September 1928 (K!, FHO!, MO!); Vigne 1875, Amentia Forest Reserve, E. Region (06º10N:01º58W) Fr., March 30, 1930 (K!, KUM!); West-Skinn 90, Axim Cocoa Station (04º52N:02º14W) sterile, 1957 (K!); NIGERIA: Chapman 3681, Mambilla Plateau, sterile, April 15, 1975 (FHO!); Chapman5202, Mambilla Plateau, Fl., February 3, 1978 (FHO!); Chapman 5331, Baissa River (07º14N:10º38E) Fr., April 1, 1978 (FHO!); Morakinyo 1006, Cross River National Park (05º15N:08º42E) sterile, August 18, 1993 (K!); Otedoh & Tuley 7252, Okwabe, near Warri (05º22N:05º48E) sterile, August 15, 1972 (K!); Tuley 530, Nsukka (06º50N:07º37E) sterile, January 31, 1964 (K!); Tuley 649, Calabar to Mamfe road, Mile 31 (05º18N:08º34E) sterile, July 13, 1964 (K!); CAMEROON: Bos 5162, 19km from Kribi on Lolodorf road (03º00N:10º03E) Fr., August 7, 1969 (K!, YA!); Breteler 1241, Bertoua (04º34N:13º40E) Fl., April 17, 1961 (WAG!); Breteler 1560, 23km W of Yaounde on Douala road (03º05N:11º17E) Fl., July 7, 1961 (WAG!); Breteler et al 1200, 6km along Batouri to Betare Oyi road (04º25N:14º21E) sterile March 14, 1961 (WAG!); Breteler et al 2563, Mt Febe nr Yaounde (03º53N:11º31E) Fr., January 23, 1962 (WAG!, BR!); Bruneau 1093, Kribi to Ebolowa road, Sud Province (02º51N:10º00E) sterile, October 30, 1995 (K!); Cheek 5591, Mt Cameroon, Upper Boando (04º04N:09º08E) Fr., November 30, 1993 (K!, SCA!); Dransfield 6998, Mount Cameroon, Upper Boando (04º04N:09º08E) Fl., June 26, 1991 (K!, SCA!); Fotius 3074, Djoumbi-Mbidan, 45km St Tiguere, sterile, March 12, 1978 (YA!); Lederman 1487, Sanchu, Fr., December 3, 1908 (FI!); Letouzey 3553, Betare Dja (03º00N:12º40E) Fr., February 27, 1964 (YA!); Maitland 761, Limbe (04º01N:09º11E) Fr., October 1929 (K!); Mbani 497, Boa Plain (04º26N:08º54E) sterile, June 5, 1994 (SCA!); Mildbraed 5264, Lomie (03º09N:13º37E) sterile, May 18, 1911 (HBG!); Mildbraed 5310, Lomie (03º09N:13º37E) sterile, May 21, 1911 (HBG!); Mpou 338, Mbalmayo (03º31N:11º30E) Fl., June 6, 1959 (YA!); Njingum 11, Nguti (05º02N:09º24E) sterile, August 5, 1999 (K!); Nkefor 445, Mabeta-Moliwe (03º58N:09º14E) sterile, s.d. (K!); Nkongmeneck 596, Nkobasso, 40km SSE of Ndiki, Fr., November 15, 1983 (YA!); Raynal 9825, Meyo-Bibilou, 36km SW Ambam (02º16N:11º11E) sterile, February 19, 1963 (YA!); Sunderland 1700, Mabeta-Moliwe Forest (03º58N:09º14E) Fr., October 10, 1995 (K!, SCA!, NY!); Sunderland 1711, Onge River valley (04º21N:08º57E) sterile, November 23, 1995 (K!, SCA!, MO!); Sunderland 1744, Rumpi Hills Forest Reserve (04º54N:09º20E) sterile, May 19, 1996 (K!, SCA!, BH!); Sunderland 1750, Mabeta-Moliwe Forest (03º58N:09º14E) sterile, November 13, 1996 (K!, BH!); Sunderland 1762, Mabeta-Moliwe Forest (03º58N:09º14E) sterile, November 25, 1996 (K!, SCA!); Sunderland 1885, 10km south of Nguti (05º02N:09º24E) Fr., November 26, 1997 (K!, SCA!, BH!); Sunderland 1931, Takamanda Forest Reserve (06º06N:09º47E) sterile, November 10, 1998 (K!, SCA!); Sunderland 1934, Takamanda Forest Reserve (06º06N:09º47E) sterile, November 14, 1998 (K!, SCA!); Sunderland 1936, Takamanda Forest Reserve (06º06N:09º47E) sterile, November 16, 1998 (K!, SCA!); Sunderland 2055, Takamanda Forest Reserve (06º08N:09º16E) sterile, January 18, 1999 (K!, SCA!); Sunderland 2250, Mokoko River Forest Reserve (04º29N:09º00E) sterile, February 16, 1999 (K!, SCA!); Tessmann s.n., sterile, October 2, 1909 (FI!); Thomas 6139, SW Province, nr Mundemba (04º58N:08º55E) Fl., May 12, 1986 (K!, BR!, WAG!, MO!); Watts 511, Mt Cameroon, Njonji (04º04N:08º59E) sterile, October 15, 1992 (SCA!); Watts 821, Liwenyi (04º23N:08º59E) Fr., October 28, 1993 (K!, SCA!); Wheatley 154, Mabeta-Moliwe forest (03º58N:09º14E) Fl., April 10, 1992 (SCA!); CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Carroll 33, Dzanga Region, 12km NE of Bayanga (03º07N:16º27E) sterile, April 15, 1985 (K!, MO!); Harris5707, Sangha-Mbaere (02º59N:16º13E) Fr., December 16, 1997 (K!); Harris & Fay 1494, Dzanga-Sanga (02º21N:16º09E) sterile, October 31, 1988 (MO!); EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Barter s.n., Bioko (03º25N:08º40E) Fl., 1857 (K!); Carvalho 2212, Bioko: Malabo to Cupapa (03º34N:08º46E) Fr., August 5, 1986 (K!, BR!); Guinea 913, Bioko: Boloko to Luba (03º24N:08º34E) sterile, January 9, 1947 (MO!); Mann97, Bioko (03º31N:08º33E) Fl. & Fr., April 1860 (K!); Sunderland 1875, 2km SW of village of Angoma (02º03N:10º10E) sterile, September 15, 1997 (K!, EG!, NY!, BR!); Sunderland 1904, 10km south of Bata (01º45N:09º43E) sterile, March 20, 1998 (K!, EG!, WAG!); Sunderland 1910, 1km from village of Mfeck-Ayong (02º00N:10º35E) sterile, March 18, 1998 (K!, EG!, WAG!); Sunderland 1911, 1km from village of Mfeck-Ayong (02º00N:10º35E) sterile, March 30, 1998 (K!, EG!, WAG!); Tessmann 44, Nkolentangau, Fr., December 5, 1907 (FI!); GABON: le Testu 9258, Fl., August 26, 1933 (BR!); DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Bequaert 1824, Awakubi (01º19N:27º34E) Fr., January 7, 1914 (BR!); Evrard 3145, Befale: River Nkoyo (00º24N:20º46E) Fr., December 28, 1957 (BR!); Gerard 3218, Bambesa (03º28N:25º11E) Fr., December 11, 1957 (BR!); Gerard 3933, Madabu (Zobia) (02º58N:25º22E) Fl., May 22, 1958 (BR!); Gerard4951, Bambesa (03º28N:25º11E) Fr., November 15, 1961 (BR!); Germain 8728, Yabahondo (Isangi) (00º42N:23º58E) sterile, March 28, 1956 (BR!); Lebrun 2985, Ougodia, Fl., May 1931 (BR!); Louis 9556, 30km E of Yangambi (00º45N:24º43E) Fl., May 30, 1938 (K!, BR!); Louis 13176, Oriental Province, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fr., December 1938 (K!, BR!); Louis 14729, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fl., May 6, 1939 (K!, BR!, WAG!); Louis 16340, Yangambi (00º45N:24º26E) Fr., December 7, 1939 (BR!); Mandango 3067, Ile Mbie: 5km from Kisangani (00º34S:29º15E) Fr., March 2, 1982 (BR!); Mildbraed 2818, Beni-Rewenzori (00º30N:29º25E) Fr., 1908 (FI!) (Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76)A


    A. Sunderland, T.C.H. 2012: A taxonomic revision of the rattans of Africa (Arecaceae: Calamoideae). – Phytotaxa 51: 1-76
    B. World Checklist of Arecaceae