| Orania (oh-rahn-EE-ah) |
Photo by Joe.
Habitat and DistributionMalaya, Sumatera, Thailand. Widespread in almost every part of Western Malesia and
Large palm. Trunk about 15 m high, about 15 cm in diam. breast high, internodes about 8 cm. Leaves about 15 in the crown, spirally arranged, densely covered with red-brown tomentum, about 4 - 5 m long; leaf-sheath about 80 cm, 8 - 10 cm wide, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial surface with dense red-brown tomentum, margins disintegrating intofibres, straight, about 5 cm long; petiole about 1 m long; rachis 2.2 - 3.2 m long, about 3 cm in diam. in the middle; leaflets elongate-lanceolate, regularly arranged leaflets held in one plane, about 100 in total number, leaflets about 5.5 - 6 cm distant, about 1.05 - 1.5 m long, 6.8 - 7 cm wide, adaxial surface dark green, glabrous, with redbrown tomentum on the midrib, midrib robust, other less thick; abaxial surface densely covered with white indumentum, red-brown tomentum on the margin, midrib robust, other ribs less thick. Inflorescence spreading, branching to 2 orders, massive, rather glabrous or with red-brown tomentum, about 1.5 - 2 m long; prophyll persistent, disintegrating into fibres, about 45 × 12 cm; peduncle about 75 - 100 cm long, glabrous or with white indumentum; peduncular bract one, woody, persistent, about 2 - 2.5 m long, 10 - 11 cm wide near the base; rachis about 75 - 100 cm long; first order branches about 41 - 55 cm long, rachillae bract about 3 - 4 mm long; rachillae conspicuously slender, branching at convergent angle, conspicuously straight, about 30 - 42 cm long, bearing 100 - 154 flower clusters, bearing triads arranged in proximal about 2=3 up to 2.5 cm from distal, triads about 7 - 15 mm distant, the basal about 1 - 1.7 cm devoid of flowers, sometimes pistillate flowers found in the first order branch. Staminate flowers with calyx of 3 united minute sepals; corolla with 3 free petals, about 5 - 6 mm long, 2 - 2.5 mm wide; stamens 6, filaments free, dark- brown, about 0.5 - 0.75 mm long, anthers elongatelanceolate, pale creamy yellow, always free, about 2.5 - 3 mm long; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers with calyx of 3 united sepals, about 0.5 - 0.7 mm long; corolla with 3 free petals, about 3.5 - 4 mm long, 3 - 4 mm wide; staminodes 6, unequal, 2 being different, larger with hooked tip, about 10 mm long, otherwise about 1.2 - 2 mm long; gynoecium dark-brown, about 3.5 - 4 mm long; stigma with 3 elongate lobes. Fruits globose or bilobed, about 4.5 - 5 cm in diam., dull green when young, yellowish green when mature; epicarp smooth, thin; mesocarp fibrous, 1 - 1.5 mm thick; endocarp thinner, hard, redbrown; endosperm white, about 3 - 4 cm diam., about 2.5 cm thick, with a hollow inside, about 1 - 1.5 cm wide. Embryo placed below middle line of seed. Eophyll bifid. (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Orania sylvicola is the second-most widespread species after O. palindan. This species is also known to inhabit a wide range of habitats, from humid lowland rainforests with rich soil to heath forests with very poor sandy soil. O. sylvicola is commonly found from coastal areas up to about 600 m above sea level. In Southern Thailand - around Tamben Kao Panom, Kerr 18802 - it has been reported from 1100 m. In Malay Peninsula O. sylvicola is found throughout the peninsula and on the adjacent island, Tioman. In Singapore O. sylvicola used to be found on mainland Singapore and a small offshore island (Ubin). However, this is based on reports and specimens collected by Ridley in 1891 (see Ridley 1900) at a time when a large part of Singapore was still covered with lowland tropical rainforest. The presence of O. sylvicola in Singapore and the surrounding islands has never been reported again. In Sumatra O. sylvicola is found throughout the island but mostly in the North and Central part of the island (i.e. the Provinces of North Sumatra and Jambi). Dransfield (1974) reported O. sylvicola in an area between Jambi and Bangko growing in lowland grassland ("alang-alang"). In South Sumatra it has been reported growing in great numbers in heath forest ("kerangas") developed on very poor sandy soil just about 200 km from the coast (see Dransfield 1972). Apart from these two reports O. sylvicola normally grows in lowland forest on rich soil. So far no species of Orania has been reported from the northernmost part of the island (Aceh). As in Sumatra, in Borneo O. sylvicola is also found scattered throughout the island - mostly in the western part, but it is absent from Sabah. In Borneo O. sylvicola is also found in both lowland forest on well-drained soil (sometimes also in sandstone based soil as in West Kalimantan) and occasionally in heath forests ("kerangas") with less rich soil as in some parts of Sarawak (see Dransfield 1984). In Java O. sylvicola is restricted to the western part only. Nowadays this species can be seen only in the Dungus Iwul Nature Reserve, Jasinga, West Java. Another locality in West Java where O. sylvicola was once found is Pancoran Mas Nature Reserve-Depok (Backer & Bakhuizen van den Brink 1968). It was still there until at least the early 1970s (Dransfield 1998 pers. comm.). Unfortunately, when AK visited the place, O. sylvicola was no longer present. O. sylvicola has never been reported further east from West Java. Although there is another species that possesses the unequal staminodes, O. longistaminodia, several characters distinguish O. sylvicola from O. longistaminodia (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.
Cold Hardiness Zone: 10a
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; Literally "growing in the forest"
Conservation: IUCN Red List - Near Threatend. This palm tree is confined to coastal rainforest up to 200 m. The subpopulation in West Java has been reduced to fewer than 200 individuals in a single locality. The species is extinct in Singapore.
On a global scale this species is widespread and often abundant in, for example, Peninsular Malaysia and South Thailand. However, at the local level it may be seriously threatened; for example, in Java it is on the verge of extinction.a (A.P. Keim and J. Dransfield. 2012)/Palmweb.
Uses: Trunk is used for building houses. Leaves are used for house thatching. Fruits are said to be poisonous.
A large, solitary tree palm to 20 m (66 ft.) tall with a smooth, grey trunk and a spreading crown of straight leaves with slightly drooping, leathery leaflets that are silvery below. It occurs in rainforests on the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. (RPS.com)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos, edric.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos, edric.
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.