Howea belmoreana

Common name

belmore sentry palm, kentia palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect to 10 m tall and 15 cm in diameter, bulging at the base; young stems green, turning gray with age; ring scars are prominent, raised, and undulating. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, strongly arching, to 3 m long, with linear, green leaflets regularly arranged in a single plane, held in a V-shape at about 45° to the rachis. The leaf sheaths disintegrate into a mass of fibers with age. Flowers and fruit: Inflorescences are pendulous spikes, to 1.5 m long, with a single inflorescence growing from the leaf axil. Staminate and pistillate flowers are produced on the same inflorescences and are white in color. Fruits are up to 4-5 cm long, ovoid and red or reddish-brown when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Solitary, erect palms with oblique ring scars on green stems, strongly arching pinnate leaves, medium green leaflets (above and below) with prominent secondary veins, and drooping inflorescence spikes

Lab: Small scales the abaxial leaflet surface and tan ramenta along midrib

May be confused with

Howea forsteriana which is much larger at maturity and has drooping leaflets and multiple inflorescence spikes from a single leaf axis

Distribution

Native to Lord Howe Island

Additional comments

This species is grown as an indoor ornamental, but less often than Howea forsteriana.

Scientific name

Howea belmoreana (C.Moore & J.F.Muell.) Becc.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Grisebachia belmoreana H.Wendl. & Drude

Kentia belmoreana C.Moore & F.Muell.

Last Updated May 2014

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