Veitcha joannis

Common name

joannis palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, slender, pale gray stems to 35 m tall and up to 40 cm in diameter, bulging at the base, with prominent leaf scar rings . Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 3 m long, with an arching rachis holding regularly arranged, drooping leaflets in a single plane. The crown shaft is 60-120 cm long, slightly swollen at the base, pale green in color, with brown scales. 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 arching, to 75 cm long and branched to three or four orders. Greenish to white male and female flowers are borne on the same inflorescence. The ovoid, beaked, red fruits are 4-6 cm long.

Diagnostic features

Field: Erect, tall, solitary palms with leaf scar rings on a pale gray stem; lower leaves hanging below horizontal level; leaflets drooping and growing in a single plane; fruit beaked.

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 Fiji and Tonga

Additional comments

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

Scientific name

Veitchia joannis Wendl.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Kentia joannis (H.Wendl.) F.Muell.

Last Updated May 2014

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