Basselinia glabrata

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Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
glabrata (gla-BRAH-tah)
New Caledonia. Photo by Dr. Jean-Christophe Pintaud, edric.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Basselinia (bas-seh-lin-EE-ah)
glabrata (gla-BRAH-tah)
Alloschmidia glabrata, Alloschmidia ravenea.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Basselinia glabrata is a very dainty palm, growing up to 40' in the wild.
Floribunda Palms, Hawaii.
Distribution in New Caledonia: This species occurs in the North East of Grande Terre. Habitat; In rain forest on slopes or sometimes riparian, substratum On ground more or less distinctly rocky or deep sedimentary substrate.

Basselinia glabrata is endemic to the rain forest of northeastern New Caledonia. This slower growing solitary emergant palm can grow to 40 ft/12 m but rarely has a trunk thicker than 6 inches/15 cm. It's long streaked crownshaft adds to a gorgeous overall apperance. The unusual flowering habit and subsequent black fruit are additional pleasing aesthetics of another exceptional palm from New Caledonia.


Solitary palm, up to 15 m, with a diameter of 13 to 15 cm, cut in half at the base of the sheath; trunk covered with leaf ciacatrices not prominent; presence, sometimes at the base of the frustum of a cone adventitious roots. Basselinia glabrata has a really skinny stem/trunk (6" diameter) and a very long, graceful dark-green-yellow crownshaft, right below which all the flowers pop out in various stages of development. It is one of the only palms to crank out 'stacked' inflorescences- a mature palm will make huge (for a palm) flowers in about 4-5 columns all the way around the trunk, one on top of the other... for landscaping purposes, these detract from the look of the palm, and can be removed. Leaves 8 to 10 per crown, spreading, arching, of 1.3 to 2 m long regularly pinnate, petioles about 15 cm, covered with dark scales; long sheath from 70 to 90 cm, a more or less dark green and covered with écailes dark outside, green or white inside. Phenology (flower) Inflorescences under the leaves, many (up to 17), long persistent, at different stages of maturation, and long horizontal branches with many flowers, pendulous, completely covered at the beginning of a scaly tomentum brown, then becoming glabrous with age. fruits Fruit ellipsoid, 1.2 cm long and 4-5 mm diam., Slightly arched at the base, black at maturity, with the stigmatic residue apical position; seeds 7 x 3 mm. Editing by edric. (From the French). Editing by edric.


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Comments and Curiosities

Officially moved from Alloschmidia to Basselinia 2008.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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