Veitcha arecina

Common name

montgomery palm, sunshine palm, tepua

Description

Stems: Solitary, slender, gray stems to 25 m tall and up to 28 cm in diameter, bulging at the base, with close rings of leaf scars. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 3 m long, with an arching rachis holding regularly arranged, drooping leaflets in a single plane. The crown shaft is 60-140 cm long, somewhat swollen at the base, pale green in color, covered with fine, silvery hairs and gray to brown/black scales at the apex. Leaflets are green above and below, lanceolate, with thick marginal ribs and prominent midribs. Leaflet tips are jaggedly toothed (somewhat praemorse). Flowers and fruits: Inflorescence is stiffly arching, to 1 m long and branched to three or four orders. Greenish to white male and female flowers are borne on the same inflorescence. The ovoid, red fruits are 2.5-5 cm long.

Diagnostic features

Field: Erect, solitary palms with close leaf scar rings on the slender gray stem; pale green crown shaft with blackish scales at the apex; leaves held mainly horizontally or higher; leaflets drooping and growing in a single plane.

Lab: Lines of tiny white scales covering the underside of the leaflets; obvious dark brown ramenta along the base of the midrib; marginal veins and midrib prominent.

May be confused with

Adonidia merrillii, but it is usually a smaller statured palm with ascending leaflets held in a V-shape, rather than drooping leaflets. Other Veitchia species; see those descriptions for diagnostic features.

Distribution

Native to Vanuatu

Additional comments

This Veitchia is widely cultivated and might hybridize with other species in landscape plantings. Similarities of palms in this genus make determination of species difficult.

Scientific name

Veitchia arecina Becc.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Veitchia hookeriana Becc.

Veitchia macdanielsii H.E.Moore

Veitchia montgomeryana H.E.Moore

Last Updated May 2014

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