Aiphanes duquei Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 492 (1937)

Primary tabs

no image available


Endemic to a very small area in the Western Cordillera of Colombia, in the departments of Cauca and Valle, in cloudy, lower montane wet and rain forest, at 2000-2600 m. It has not been found during recent searches at the type locality and may now be restricted to the national parks Farallones de Cali and Munchique, and the area between them, an area of < 200 km2. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Aiphanes duquei is very characteristic in its extremely long, densely spinose, basal rachillae, with a long basal flowerless part, 13-20 mm long pistillate flowers (the largest in the genus), and long-rostrate fruits. The unusual development of the basal rachillae misled Burret (1937) to interpret the inflorescence as having a branched peduncle giving rise to two partial inflorescences, a spicate, androgynous one and a branched, staminate one. Actually A. duquei just represents the extreme of a tendency toward development of basal sterile part of the rachillae observed in several other species, most notably A. chiribogensis.
    The type of A. duquei at B is a hanging sheet, with a leaf and a basal rachilla with pistillate flowers, in relatively good condition. No isotypes are located at COL or FAUC, where most of Duque's collections are kept. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


  • Solitary. Stem 4-5 m tall, ca. 5 cm diam., gray, with rings of retrorse, black, to 15 cm long spines that fall off in exposed areas. Leaves 8-9, erect to spreading; sheath 72 cm long, proximal part with a yellow tomentum and densely covered with spinules, surface soft to the touch, the distalmost 30 cm bending away from stem, almost unarmed: petiole 4-25 cm long, with a yellow to brown, caducous indument, brown-spinulose adaxially, with few, black spines, to 10 cm long; rachis 91-110 cm long, with an indument like that on the petiole, and scattered, black spines, to 3 cm long, unarmed distally, adaxial side sometimes with short purple spinules; pinnae 23-35 per side, inserted in groups of (1-)3-6 separated by 9-15 cm, in different planes, narrowly cuneate, 4.4-7.8 times as long as wide, obliquely praemorse at apex, glabrous or shortly spinulose on both sides, usually with no spines on the midrib abaxially; basal pinnae linear, 17.5-22 x 0.5-0.6 cm; middle pinnae 28^0 x 5.5-7 cm; apical pinnae 6-9 ribbed, 19-20 x 10-18 cm. Inflorescence drooping, branched to 1 order, the basal 1-3 rachillae pendulous, the remaining spreading; prophyll 45-58 cm long; peduncular bract 120-196 x ca. 6.5 cm, coriaceous, with a brown, scaly indument, unarmed or with purple spinules; peduncle 22-94 cm long, 0.5-1 cm diam. at junction with rachis, densely armed with brown to black, often flexuose spines, 1-3 cm long; rachis 123 cm long, armed like peduncle, but spines fewer; rachillae 54, the basal ones inserted at large intervals along the rachis, only the basal 8 rachillae with pistillate flowers; basal rachilla 115-150 cm long, without flowers for 3/5 of the length, in this part as thick as the rachis and armed similarly, proximally appressed to the rachis in the prophyll, giving the impression that the peduncle is forked, flower-bearing part 43-61 cm long, with densely packed triads for 1/2-2/3 of the length, in this part ca. 1-2.5 cm diam. and covered with black, flexuose spines between the flower groups, distally slender, with staminate dyads; subbasal rachilla inserted 38-69 cm above the basal one, about half as long as this, without flowers for half the length; middle rachillae 35-42 cm long, staminate, without flowers for half their length; apical rachillae 7-14 cm long, staminate, with a 0.5-1.5 cm long flowerless part; triads sunken into deep pits in the rachillae, each subtended by an acuminate bract that covers the pistillate flower for half its length or more, the two associated staminate flowers borne on up to 6 mm long pedicels lifting them out of the pit; dyads slightly sunken, composed of a proximal sessile and a distal shortly pedicellate staminate flower. Staminate flowers purple, 4-5.2 mm long; sepals connate for 1/5 of their length, gibbous at base, 2-2.5 mm long, lobes narrowly triangular, slightly imbricate at base; petals free, valvate, 3-4.5 x 1.5 mm; filaments 1-1.5 mm long, anthers linear, 1.5-2.1 mm long, thecae free and sagittate basally; pistillode trifid. Pistillate flowers 13-20 mm long, each subtended by one or two 10-12 mm long, 6 mm wide bracteoles, much resembling the sepals; sepals imbricate, acuminate, minutely spinu-lose at base, 10-14 x 6-10 mm; petals connate for half their length or less, valvate distally, 12-18 x 4-6 mm, middle part sometimes minutely spinulose abaxially, lobes triangular-acuminate; staminodial cup free of petals, ca. 5 mm high, teeth ca. 1 mm high, linear-acuminate; pistil 6-12 mm high, glabrous. Fruits red, smooth, globose, long-rostrate, 9-12 mm diam., rostrum 4-6 mm long; endocarp turbinate to subglobose, ca. 9 mm diam. (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A

Materials Examined

  • COLOMBIA. CAUCA: Parque Nacional Natural Munchique, between La Romelia and El 81, 2600 m, 5-6 Apr 1989 (fl, fr), Bernal & Devia 1540 (COL, TULV). (Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95)A


    A. Borchsenius, F. and Bernal, R. 1996. Aiphanes (Palmae). Flora Neotropica 70. pp 1-95