Orania regalis

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Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
regalis (reh-GAHL-iss)
New Guinea, Malaya. Photo by Philippe.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah)
regalis (reh-GAHL-iss)
Orania aruensis, Arausiaca excelsa
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Moluccas and New Guinea. In the Moluccas it is found near the modern town of Jabulenga
Sorong, Irian Jaya, Papua Barat, ID, Tropical Asia. Photo by Dr. William J. Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
on the island of Wokam, in the northern part of the Aru Archipelago. In New Guinea it is found so far only in Papua in both Northern and Southern parts of the "neck". In the northern part it is found around Wandammen National Park - about 80 miles northwest of Triton Bay (Baker et al. 2000) and Nabire - approximately 90 miles west of Triton Bay (Heatubun 1999 pers. comm.). In the southern part it has not been seen since Zippelius?s original collection in 1827. Zippelius mentions in his notes its presence in the mountain of Lamentsjerie close to a town called Lobo (present day Dobo?) not very far from Triton Bay and the district capital city Kaimana. Lowland to highland tropical rainforest. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.


Large palm. Trunk up to 11 m high, about 20 - 25 cm diam. breast high, internodes 15 - 20 cm, glaborus, greyish green. Leaves 8 - 10 in the crown, spirally arranged, about 2.5 - 4.2 m long; leaf-sheath about 60 cm long, 18 cm wide, margins disintegrating into fibres, fibres curly, about 10 cm long; petiole about 4 - 4.5 cm in diam. in the proximal, with dense red-brown tomentum; rachis about 2 cm in diam., leaflets elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged, 50 - 60 in one side of rachis, leaflets about 5.0 - 6.0 cm distant, about 1 - 1.6 m long, 6.5 - 7.2 cm wide, adaxial surface dark green, glabrous, with red brown tomentum on the midrib, midrib robust, other ribs slender, abaxial surface with dense white indumentum, red-brown tomentum on the margin, midrib robust, other ribs rather slender, more conspicuous than adaxial ones. Inflorescence congested, branching to 2 orders, about 1.20 - 1.25 m long; prophyll persistent, about 1 - 1.2 m long, heavily disintegrated into fibres when old; peduncle 60 - 62.5 cm long, glabrous, yellowish green; peduncular bract one, woody, about 83 - 150 cm long, 10.5 - 11 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with red-brown tomentum, splitting in the middle, proximally disintegrating into fibres; rachis about 60 - 62.5 cm long, glabrous, yellowish green, rachis bract about 2.5 - 3 mm long, 7 - 8 mm wide; first order branches about 19 - 20 cm long, rachillae about 12 - 20 cm long, slender, conspicuously zigzag, branching at convergent angle, bearing 30 - 60 flower clusters, bearing triads spirally arranged in the proximal 2=5, the basal about 1.2 - 1.6 cm devoid of flowers, triads about 1 - 1.5 cm distant, rachilla glabrous. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, about 4 - 7 mm long, 1 - 2 mm wide; stamens 3 - 5, commonly 3 (-rarely more), filaments free or united, dark brown, about 1 mm long, anthers pale creamy yellow, about 2.5 - 3 mm long, free or united, uniform or distinct, pistillodes absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, about 1 - 1.5 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, about 5 - 7 mm long, 3 - 4 mm wide; staminodes 3, about 0.4 - 0.5 mm long; gynoecium brown, about 2 mm long; stigma with 3 elongate lobes, about 1 mm long. Fruit globose or bilobed, dull green when young, bright/reddish orange when mature, about 4.5 - 8.0 cm in diam.; epicarp smooth, thin; mesocarp fibrous, about 4 mm thick; endocarp thinner than mesocarp but thicker than epicarp, woody, brown, about 1 mm thick; endosperm about 3.5 - 3.6 cm in diam., with a hollow, about 1 cm in diam. Embryo placed below middle line of seed. Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: Genus name; Honors the early 19th century Crown Prince of the Netherlands, F.G.L. Willem van Nassau, Prince of Orange. Species name; Royal.

Conservation: Vulnerable (VU D2). Although Orania regalis has a wide extent of occurrence, only four unique localities have been recorded and the lowland forests where the palm occurs continue to be threatened by clearance for agriculture and logging. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, 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).

A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012. A monograph of the genus Orania (Arecaceae: Oranieae).

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

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