Saribus woodfordii (Ridl.) C.D. Bacon & W.J. Baker, Palms 55: 115 (2011)

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Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. In the Solomon Islands on Tulagi (Nggela) and San Cristobal Islands. In Papua New Guinea in Milne Bay Prov., on Rossel and Sudest Islands and the mainland near Cape Vogel and East Cape. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Coastal forest on limestone or lateritic soils at 0-120 m alt., in high rainfall areas. Flowers Jan-Apr; fruits May-July. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona woodfordii was described by Ridley (1898) from the collection Micholitz s.n. from "insula Polynesiae" and annotated as "S. S. Islands" on the specimen labels, and named for the English naturalist, Charles Morris Woodford (b. 1852, d. 1927), who collected natural history specimens in the Solomon Islands (1886-1914) and was the colony's first Acting High Commissioner (1896-1915) (Woodford, 1890; Golden, 1993). There are discrepancies regarding the collection date of the type specimen. On the type it is written as 1898, but the itinerary of Micholitz shows he was in the Solomon Islands in October 1897, and in the Louisiade Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, in Apr/May 1898 (van Steenis-Kruseman, 1950). The date on the type could relate to the time that Ridley received the specimen rather than its collection date. An expanded description was provided by Beccari (1931), and was in part based on an inflorescence and fruit collection, Macgregor s.n., in the Louisiade Archipelago, most probably in1888 (Thomson, 1889; van Steenis-Kruseman, 1950). Beccari (1931) related that the MacGregor specimen was sent to him by Mueller prior to 1889 (in 1888, via Hermann Wendland, according to Burret (1941)). Burret (1941), providing taxonomic and descriptive notes on some species of Livistona, concluded that the Louisiade collection was a different species and named it L. beccariana. As Burret?s description was based on the Macgregor collection, it is the type. Burret provided a detailed description of the inflorescence and fruit fragments, but nothing of the palm's habit or leaves. Livistona beccariana is hereby placed as a synonym of L. woodfordii. Livistona woodfordii is a moderate canopy palm to 16 m tall; leaves are moderate and regularly segmented; segment apices are semi-pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft 5-23% of the segment length; the inflorescence is basally trifurcate, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 10 partial inflorescences; bracts are tubular; flowers (sepals and petals) are red; fruit are globose, to 12 mm diam., and reddish orange to reddish brown at maturity. (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

Common Name

  • Boda (Wedau language), Filu (Kakabai language). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Hermaphroditic palm. Trunk to 16 m tall, 12-20 cm dbh, leaf scars slightlyraised, irregular in width, light grey, internodes broad, greyish-brown to grey with age, petiole stubs not persistent. Leaves 30-60 in a globose to broadly conical crown; petiole to ca 110 cm long, 13 mm wide in the distal portion, slightly arching, adaxially slightly ridged, flat or slightly concave, covered with a deciduous white powder, margins unarmed or with single, small, curved, green spines, confined to the proximal half; leaf-base fibres moderately prominent, coarse, persistent, reddish-brown; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, subcircular to circular, 60-170 cm long,45-90 cm wide, rigid, adaxially shiny midgreen, glaucous, abaxially lighter green with fine powdery wax; lamina divided for 51-75% of its length, with 60-70 segments, depth of apical cleft 5-23% of the segment length, apical lobes acuminate, semi-pendulous, hanging ca 45° or more to the vertical; lamina deeply undulate, angles of undulations 90° or less; hastula raised ca 10 mm; parallel veins 5-7 each side of midrib; transverse veins equal thickness or thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences with ± similar collateral axes, branched to 3 orders, 120-270 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, slightly curving; partial inflorescences 5-10, longest to 45 cm long; prophyll to 14 cm long; peduncular bracts lacking; rachis bracts chartaceous, tubular, glabrous, apex acute; tertiary rachis bracts subtend all minor branches, tubular, glabrous, chartaceous, apex acute; rachillae 4-6 cm long, 1 mm thick, straight, basally with brown-purple tomentum, distally glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 2-6, sessile, subglobose in bud, 1-1.5 mm long; sepals obtuse, 0.2 ? 0.3 mm long, imbricate, red; petals deltoid, 0.8-1 mm long, 0.7-0.8 mm wide, red; filaments with a very narrow connective; style sharply tapered, ca the same height as the anthers. Fruit globose, 7-12 mm diam., reddish orange to reddish brown; epicarp smooth, shiny, with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends for ca ½ the length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp 0.7-1.7 mm thick, fleshy, fibrous; endocarp cartilaginous, shiny, yellowish; pedicel 2-3 mm long. Seed globose, 6-9.5 mm diam.; endosperm intruded by the testa for ca ¾ of the way through to form a central cavity filled with brownish tissue; embryo lateral. Eophyll not seen. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: SOLOMON ISLANDS: Location not given, anon. H840-14 (K); (Solomon Islands), Woodford 651-14 (K); Tulagi Is., abundant in wet laterite soils, 90-110 m alt., Dennis BSIP7944 (K, L, LAE, SING); Tulagi Is., Whitmore's collectors 4427 (K, L, SING, US); Tulagi Is., Whitmore 18101 & collectors (K, LAE); Tulagi Is., (N'gela), ca 50 m alt., Brass 3517 (A, L; photo BRI); Tulagi Is., W end of island, 0-50 m alt., Zona 661 (K); San Cristobal Is., (1891?) 1898, Micholitz s.n. (BM lectotype, FI, K, SING). PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Milne Bay Prov. Cape Vogel Peninsula, Menapi, 120 m alt., Brass 21809 (CANB, LAE, US); Cape Vogel Peninsula, near Tapio village, 9º38'S, 149º53'E, alt. 10 m, Hoogland 4284 (A, CANB, L, LAE); Rossel Is., Abeleti, 50 m alt., Brass 28281 (K, L, LAE, PNH, US); Rossel Is., Abeleti, 11º20'S, 154º10'E, 50 ft alt., Henty 27041 (L, LAE);Rossel Is., Pambwa area, Yeleamba, 50 m alt., Banka 2015 with Dowe (BRI, K, LAE); Sudest Is., ca 5 km NW of East Point, 60-70 m alt., Banka 2019 with Dowe (BRI, K, LAE).
    Specimens from cultivated material: Singapore: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Lawn O, 7 Mar 1930, Furtado s.n. (K); Singapore Botanic Gardens,Garden O, Furtado 21175 (K, SING); Singapore Botanic Gardens, O towards M & Q, probably progeny of the type collection, Furtado 29223 (SING); Singapore Botanic Gardens, K, near Office, Furtado 29 (BH, K, L, SING). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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