A palm ID question

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by palmnerd, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I was at my favorite local palm park yesterday. There are over two hundred species in the collection. I am always finding new plants. The one in the photos has me stumped. It's an acaulescent juvenile. It's currently throwing what would appear to be sterile seed. My first guess was Attalea allenii. The plam does not bare all of the morph. features of Attalea though. Let me know what you think. I can always find the curator and have them whip out the accession list but this is more fun! -Justin
     

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  2. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Here's a couple more shots. The leaflets are arranged a little differently than I'm used to seeing in Attalea.
     

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  3. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    I was thinking Allagoptera until a didn't notice any silver on the backside of the leaflets. But after looking at a pic of Allagoptera leucocalyx on the Encyclopedia, it appears as if that species might not either either. What do you think?

    I'm pretty sure A. arenaria and A. campesteris do have silver. Unless this was grown in deep shade, or the pics don't show it well enough, it couldn't be either of those.

    Something about the seeds reminds me of something I may have seen on an Allagoptera.
     
  4. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Hi Dean, I have baby leucocalyx and campesteris that haven't expressed themselves much yet. I do however have an adult arenaria, which display the silver underside you mentioned. You're right about the leaves in the leucocalyx photo in the encyclopedia. I just went to the Fairchild site and there is a good picture of a leucocalyx that is in multi trunk form. The mystery palm is single. I saw no sign of suckering, just lots of poison ivy.
    Again the leaves look nothing like Attalea, but I would swear its in Attaleinae, which contains Allogoptera, Butia, Syagrus, Lytocaryum et. al. in new world. I'm sorry I don't have a better distance pic that might help too. -Justin
     
  5. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    My first thought was Allogoptera also. I took a close look at my A.arenaria and it looks diffrent than your pic.My arenaria is growing in the shade and still shows silver on the underside of leaves. You say the palm seed seem sterile, maybe a hybrid ?
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    My first reaction was based on the fact that it is flowering at such a small size. While not that familiar with Attalea, I thought they got much larger before flowering.
     
  7. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    To answer Scott's question; I could easily imagine it to be a hybrid. I don't know what Attalea might cross with. The seed might also be seemingly sterile by way of the plants age and breeding immaturity. And I know what you mean by Allogoptera, but this thing is huge and has just one trunk. I know they just recently dissolved Polyandroccos to Allogoptera, but I have a big juvenile of the caudescens and it looks much different. The leaves look to me like Syagrus, but the form and seed cluster looks like Attalea. Maybe I will have to get one of the on site folks to give up some info.
    To answer your question Dean; I know there are some diminutive forms of Attalea. I just saw an allenii this week in a private collection, while it didn't look like the one in my pics all that much, it did have irregularly arranged leaflets like the mystery plant. As a rule it seems to me the Attalea have regularly arranged leaflets. Maybe I'll post the pics to the CFPACS forum and see if anyone is familiar with this palm.
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's a pic of Allagoptera leucocalyx - Look familiar???
     

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  9. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    That is a funky rachis Dean, It looks like a bizzare doughnut. But yes it does look familiar to me in a subtribe Attaleinae kind of way.
    The thing that keeps me from thinking the mystery plant is leucocalyx is the fact there is only one trunk to the mystery plant. Even the photo in the encyclopedia, taken by me at Fairchild has numerous trunks. I remember looking through that one for "seed opportunities", and there was a lot of trunks coming from the core. It also had more of a decumbent habit as opposed to the upright in the mystery plant.
    Now in that clump of seed in the picture, did you see the spathe that was attached to the seed and peduncle? I think the spathes of the mystery palm are unique as well.
     
  10. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Here is a look at my little A.arenaria grown in a shaded location and has the bluish color. It has also has split into two trunks at this stage.
     

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  11. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll alert one of my palm ID maestros and see if he'll chime in.
     
  12. Matt in SD

    Matt in SD Member

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    It seems to me like the initial guess of Attalea allenii is the best. It's too big to be Allagoptera, and the leaves/rachis are more straight than any Syagrus I've seen or heard of, plus I think all of the acaulescent Syagrus are smaller than that (could be wrong, but at least nearly all are much smaller). The straight leaves remind me of Ceroxylon, but it's clearly not a ceroxylon based on the inflorescence, and the fact that it's flowering with no trunk. Attelea allenii is an acaulescent Attelea with plumose leaves and an unbranched inflorescence that looks just like the one in the photo. Don't know what else it could be.

    Of course I could be wrong, I've never seen Attelea allenii, but I've posted my logic, so anyone can correct if anything above is incorrect.

    Matt
     
  13. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Matt,

    That was fast. I saw you online within seconds of my email. To those who don't know, Matt has pegged as many IDs as anyone I know, so I would go along with him 99% of the time.
     
  14. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    I will go out today and get some pictures of an allenii to compare. Maybe that will help with concluding this one.
     
  15. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Here's some pics of allenii. It may support the case for the mystery palm being an allenii.
     

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  16. palmnerd

    palmnerd Well-Known Member

    Here's a couple of Attalea spp. showing a more typical form for the genus, just to use as a contrast for the allenii.
     

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  17. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

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    Well,

    Unless someone strenuously objects, A. allenii it is.
     

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