Gaussia maya

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Figure 1. G. maya - note the inflorescences.



Opsiandra maya

Common Names:

Maya Palm

Distribution & Habitat:

An emergent palm of Central American rainforests.


A tall, solitary feather palm, with a rather small, untidy head of leaves. Its most notable feature is its flowering habit, which can result in up to a dozen inflorescences being on a plant at any one time.


Likes a shady, moist, well drained position as a youngster, but can take more sun as it grows.


Note from Jay Vannini:

This sp. (or something closely related) ranges west almost to the border with Chiapas in the Sierra de Chinaj, and east well into Belize. I am somewhat amused by the group think manifested on the IPS forum that insists that this sp. is unattractive. Perhaps the seed generated from Belizean population generates the three-leaf wonders in captivity...

Figure 2. G. maya

Figure 3. G. maya in habitat, Mundo Perdido,Tikal NP, Depto. El Pet"n, Guatemala.
Figure 4. G. maya in habitat, Tikal.

Contributed by:

Mike Gray (Figure 1&2)
Jay Vannini (Figure 3&4)


External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk