Thursday, July 24, 2014

Licuala species (fan palm) - July 2014


Went exploring this morning (such a hot day! 33 degrees Celsius in the jungle and 45C under the sun!) and found several kinds of palms in this swampy area but I was only interested in the licualas, my favourite! There were so many of them but I believe they are all of the same species though am not sure which. Came upon only one with mature fruits.


The pea-sized fruits (orange-red/brown) have a sweet and juicy mesocarp (husk/pulp surrounding the hard shell which protects the kernel). This suggests that seed dispersal is probably by birds and small mammals (and me!) :-)


The inflorescence pictured above had its growth obstructed by some dried leaves and twigs. It would otherwise grow straight up.


Those found growing in the denser parts of the jungle with little light had very long petioles. Since they're stemless, this would be the only way for them to grow "lanky" to reach for light.


Licualas have palmate leaves and are often called fan palms. This one has very tiny thorns on the lower part of the petiole and is stemless.


Others in more open areas were very bushy with short petioles; some were very dense, such as the one in photo below. I had to separate the mass of leaves and petioles to expose the inflorescence to be photographed!


If anyone knows which species this is, drop a line in the comments section, thanks!

1 comment:

Chalermchart said...

Maybe Licuala bidentata

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