Schippia concolor

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Schippia (skip-EE-ah)
concolor (kohn-kohl'-ohr)
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Trigona cf. fulviventris, robbing Schippia concolor flower buds presumably of pollen and/or resin, nectar. 2012-08-04 Photo by E. P. Mallory.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Schippia (skip-EE-ah)
Species:
concolor (kohn-kohl'-ohr)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
America
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Morphology
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate, divided leaflets.
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Mountain Pimento, Silver Pimento.

Habitat and Distribution

Belize; (restricted to Mountain Pine Ridge and Cayo District). and Guatemala. Scattered in
Habitat. Photo by Dr. Carl E. Lewis/Palmweb.
open, and closed dry forest, up to 500 m.

Description

Schippia concolor is a medium-sized, single-stemmed palm with fan-shaped (or palmate) leaves. The stem, which is 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft) tall and 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter, is usually covered by the remains of old, dead leaves (but in areas where fires are frequent the corky bark of the stem may be exposed throughout the length of the stem). Individuals bear six to 15 leaves which consist of a 2 m (6.6 ft) petiole and a roughly circular leaf blade which is about 1 m (3.3 ft) in diameter divided into 30 leaflets. The fruit are white, spherical and up to 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. (Henderson, Andrew; Gloria Galeano; Rodrigo Bernal (1995). Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 42–43.) Editing by edric.

Schippia concolor exhibit the unusual strategy of transferring all stored resources from the seed to the seedling before any shoot growth occurs. In most plants, the seedling remains attached to the seed, gradually using the stored resources for growth, until those resources are exhausted. At that point, the connection withers, detaching the remains of the seed. Eight to nine days after the seed is hydrated, the cotyledon expands, pushes out of the seed, and grows downward into the soil. About 20 days after germination, the cotyledon reaches a length of about 15 cm (5.9 in) and begins to swell. By the thirtieth day the lower 3 or 4 cm (1.2 or 1.6 in) are swollen, and about half the reserves in the seed have been mobilised. At about this point in time, the young root (the radicle) emerges. Sixty days after germination the transfer of reserved from the seed has been completed, but it is only after 80 or 90 days that the young shoot (the plumule) emerges from the cotyledon. (Henderson, Andrew; Gloria Galeano; Rodrigo Bernal (1995). Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 42–43.)

Culture

Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Can take full sun at an early age. Slow growing. Cold Hardiness Zone: 9b

Schippia concolor exhibit the unusual strategy of transferring all stored resources from the seed to the seedling before any shoot growth occurs. In most plants, the seedling remains attached to the seed, gradually using the stored resources for growth, until those resources are exhausted. At that point, the connection withers, detaching the remains of the seed. (Pinheiro, Claudio Urbano B. (2001). "Germination strategies of palms: the case of Schippia concolor Burret in Belize". Brittonia. 53 (4): 519–527.)

Eight to nine days after the seed is hydrated, the cotyledon expands, pushes out of the seed, and grows downward into the soil. About 20 days after germination, the cotyledon reaches a length of about 15 cm (5.9 in) and begins to swell. By the thirtieth day the lower 3 or 4 cm (1.2 or 1.6 in) are swollen, and about half the reserves in the seed have been mobilised. At about this point in time, the young root (the radicle) emerges. Sixty days after germination the transfer of reserved from the seed has been completed, but it is only after 80 or 90 days that the young shoot (the plumule) emerges from the cotyledon. (Pinheiro, Claudio Urbano B. (2001). "Germination strategies of palms: the case of Schippia concolor Burret in Belize". Brittonia. 53 (4): 519–527.)

Comments and Curiosities

Schippia is a monotypic genus

Etymology: The genus Schippia is named in honour of William Schipp, an Australian ‘botanical explorer’ who made many important early collections of the Belizean flora in the 1920’s & 30’s. William Schipp collected more than 2,000 specimens including the type collections of more than 150 species. There are many other species that are named after William Schipp including Dalechampia schippii, another savanna endemic. The species was discovered by Australian botanist William A. Schipp in 1932[3] and described by German taxonomist Max Burret in 1933.[6] Burret named the genus in honour of Schipp. The holotype upon which the species (and the genus) was based, was Schipp's collection, assigned the collection number S367. This specimen was destroyed when the Berlin Herbarium was bombed during the Second World War. (Lowden, Richard M. (1970). "William A. Schipp's Botanical Explorations in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, British Honduras (1929-1935)". Taxon. 19 (6): 831–861.)

Conservation: Vulnerable (ICUN Redlist). An ornamental palm tree restricted to Mountain Pine Ridge and Cayo District. Threatened by habitat destruction, and encroachment by agriculture and forestry. Scattered in open and closed dry forest up to 500 m.

"This palm is very slow growing, even in the tropics, and it looks just like a Coccothrinax to me... not exactly sure what the floral differences are, but sure that's where the differences lie. Does OK in so Cal, but even slower there. 10 year old palms stil are only 1' to maybe 2' tall. Solitary, palmate thin trunked palm from Belize. Grows in just about any soil type." (Geoff Stein)

"Cocothrinax has a silver hue on the underside of the leaves. Schippia concolor does not--the leaves are green on both sides." (Andrew Street)

This stylish but little known palm from Belize has shiny green, deeply split, fan-shaped leaves and attractive, pale green to white fruits up to an inch in diameter. Its slim and solitary stem is only about 3" in diameter. This elegant palm is easily grown in the tropical or subtropical garden. It also makes a nice potted plant. (RPS.com)



External Links

References

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).

Henderson, Andrew; Gloria Galeano; Rodrigo Bernal (1995). Field Guide to the Palms of the Americas. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 42–43.


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

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