Balaka seemannii

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Figure 1. B. seemannii.

Contents

Synonymy:

Ptychosperma seemannii, B. gracilis, and B. cuneata

Conservation Status:

It is not considered endangered.

Distribution & Habitat:

Endemic to Fiji. They are widely distributed throughout rainforest areas in Vanua Levu and Taveuni Islands with high rainfall from 140 meters and more in elevation.

Description:

An elegant palm with some found up to 7 meters but many maturing at around 2 meters height. It has a slender trunk rarely seen more than 3-4 cm thick and attractive colorations between grey to brown with the crownshaft slightly darker. It holds only 6-7 fronds of about 1.5 meters or less in length. Fruits are red, ellipsoid and slightly pointed when ripe.

This is a common palm which has been used as spears and as walking sticks and in more recent times as a decorative wall lining similar to a bamboo screen.

Cultivation:

This palm prefers light shade but survives in full sun when given plenty of water. It also does well as a pot plant.


Figure 2. B. seemannii inflorescence and seeds.
Figure 3. B. seemannii in habitat.


Contributed by:

Jim Valentine (Text & Figure 1,2&3)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk