Linospadix caninus

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Linospadix elegans Ridley Bacularia caninus


Indonesia. Irian Jaya. In Jayapura, Paniai, Tjenderawasih and Manokwari Divisions, in rainforest at 150-1000 m altitude.

Derivation of Name:

Latin, canis - dog (possibly relates to the fruit resembling a dog's tooth, but this was not explained by Beccari).


Clustering, small palm. Stems to 2 m tall, 4-5 mm diameter; intenodes 1.2-8 cm long, dark green; crown with 5-10 leaves. Leaves 20-30 cm long, simply bifid or irregularly or regularly segmented; petiole 6-7 cm long, to 3 mm wide; pinnae 2-26 per leaf, in segmented leaf 10-12 cm long, 4-10 mm wide, once-ribbed, acuminate, 2 terminal pinnae basally united with the apex attenuate and toothed; in bifid leaf with 1 segment either side, broadly attached to the rachis, 6-7 ribbed, apex attenuate, toothed; pinnae semi-glossy, mid to dark green above, lighter green below; ribs and veins prominent on adaxial surface only.

Inflorescence to 45 cm long; peduncle 32-37 cm long, 2.5-3 mm wide, laterally compressed, margins acute; prophyll 5-6 cm long, tubular; peduncular bract linear-lanceolate, 9-15 cm long, to 2 mm wide, acuminate; rachis 8-13 cm long, slightly thicker than peduncle. Flowers cream/yellow. Staminate flowers ovate, symmetrical, apex obtuse, 3-3.5 mm long in bud; sepals large, suborbicular, concavely pouched, freely coriaceous, dorsally ridged, margins finely ciliate; petals elliptical; stamens 6-9, equal in length, filaments short, anthers oblong, yellow to orange; pistillode rudimentary; pistillate flower broadly conical, to 3.5 mm long, to 2.5 mm wide. sepals convex, not carinate. Fruit ellipsoid, fusiform, curved, attenuate to both ends. 15-28 mm long, to 3.5-5 mm wide. red at maturity; epicarp minutely longitudinally striate; mesocarp succulent; endocarp thin and opaque. Seed ellipsoid, to 10 mm long, to 2 mm wide, curved, basally rounded, apex attenuate.

Linospadix caninus is primarily distinguished by its long, curved fruit that are about twice as long as they are in its New Guinea congener, L. albertisiana. In addition, it is generally a smaller palm, and the ribs on the pinnae are raised on the adaxial side only, rather than on both sides.

Linospadix caninus - as Bacularia caninus - was described by O. Beccari from a collection made by G. M. Versteeg in 1907 from the Mr. Carstenz area in south-west Irian Jaya.

Contributed by:

John Dowe (Text - from Palms & Cycads No. 58, Jan-Mar 1998)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

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