Clinostigma ponapense

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Clinostigma (klin-oh-STIG-mah)
ponapense (poh-nah-PEHN-seh)
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Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Clinostigma (klin-oh-STIG-mah)
ponapense (poh-nah-PEHN-seh)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Ponape Palm, Kotop.

Habitat and Distribution

Clinostigma ponapense is found on the island of Ponape, in rain forests, in the Caroline Islands,
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
east of the Philippines.


Trunk type: Solitary. Hight: An emergent palm, To 20 meters, (67'). One of the few Clinostigma's with evenly spaced rings. Trunk is whitish in appearance, with a light green crownshaft. Spread: 4.6 meters, (15'). Leaf detail: Pinnately compound, fine leaflets, and drooping leaflets. this species developes stilt roots when mature. Editing by edric.


Requirements: Filtered light when young, full sun when mature, consistently moist soil, well drained position. Warm, sheltered, and moist. Plants in south-east Queensland, are growing well.

Comments and Curiosities

Clinostigma ponapensis, also known by the common name Kotop, is endemic to Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia. This species, forms Clinostigma palm forests on Pohnpei, where it is one of the most common species between 450 and 600 m. It is extensively used by Pohnpeians who use the large bracts to carry things and for kids as a sled to ride downhill! The leaves are used to make shelters in the forest. The growing tip of the stem is harvested for the heart of palm that is eaten. This is a fast growing palm.

"Really beautiful palm from the Philippines- tall (60') with a bright, light green crownshaft, 15' spreading sparse crown of droopy leaves, and a nearly pure white trunk, at least below the crownshaft. Can be distinguished from C samoense in that the latter is a larger, beefier palm and has a very yellowy crownshaft and much droopier leaflets. This palms leaflets droop, but usually at a pronounced angle. Both these Clinostigmas have wide internode spaces on the trunks (unlike most of the other Clinostigmas which have narrow and irregular trunk rings). This is one of the most beautiful and fast growing palms one can grow in the tropics and should be used everywhere in my opinion- as avenue trees, public landscapes etc... well, someday." (Geoff Stein)

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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