Pritchardia pacifica

Common name

Fiji fan palm

Description

Stem: Solitary, upright stems to 15 m tall and up to 30 cm in diameter, sometimes spreading slightly at the base, pale gray to tan in color, with faint leaf scars. Leaves: Costapalmate, induplicate, 2-3 m across, undulate, forming a semi-circle, divided into stiff, single-fold segments usually no more than one-third the length of the leaf blade, with erect, bifid leaf segment tips. The leaf color is bright green with a thin waxy coating. The petiole and abaxial midribs are covered with whitish wooly tomentum. The leaf sheath breaks down into a mass of tawny fibers. The petiole is smooth and unarmed. Flowers and fruit: Inflorescences to 1 m long (usually shorter than or equal to the leaf petiole in length) with panicles branched to two orders and yellow flowers. Fruits spherical, reddish-black, about 12 mm in diameter.

Diagnostic features

Field: Solitary, upright stems sometimes spreading slightly at the base, pale gray to tan in color, with faint leaf scars; costapalmate, undulating leaves, 2-3 m across, divided into stiff, segments usually no more than one-third the length of the leaf blade, with erect, bifid leaf segment tips; shiny black fruits to 12 mm in diameter.

May be confused with

Other Pritchardia species, but the stiff, undulating leaves and small, spherical black fruit are distinctive.

Distribution

Native to Fiji, Tonga and perhaps other areas of the South Pacific

Additional comments

Pritchardia pacifica is one of the more commonly cultivated Pritchardia species.

Scientific name

Pritchardia pacifica Seem. & Wendl. ex Wendl.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Eupritchardia pacifica Kuntze

Styloma pacifica O.F.Cook

Washingtonia pacifica Kuntze

Last Updated May 2014

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