Hydriastele rheophytica

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Figure 1. H. rheophytica


Distribution & Habitat:

A recently discovered palm, which grows on the banks of rivers in New Guinea.


This is a small, attractive, clustering palm to about 3m tall, with thin, very flexible stems that carry an open crown of finely pinnate, feathery leaves.


Rheophytes (which means plant growing in/near running streams), typically have finely pinnate leaves, and very flexible stems, so that when the river floods, they present very little resistance to the flow, they just bend with it, rather than breaking. (A common palm of this type is [[www.pacsoa.org.aupalmsChamaedoreacataractarum Chamaedorea cataractarum).


Likes it shady, and moist; preferably tropical, but not necessarily. Doesn't mind wet feet.

Figure 2. H. rheophytica trunk detail.

Contributed by:

Luke Nancarrow (Figure 1&2)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk