H.Wendl. ex Hook.f.
in Bentham, G. & Hooker, J.D., Genera Plantarum 3: 914 (1883)
Asterogyne martiana (H.Wendl.) H.Wendl. ex Hemsl.
Small, monoecious palms. Stem solitary, short. Leaves pinnately ribbed, simple or irregularly divided. Inflorescence simple or once branched, with one prophyll and one slender peduncular bract. Flowers unisexual, borne in groups of one female and two males, sunken into pits in the inflorescence branches covered by a depressed operculum which rolls back at anthesis. Flowers with 3 free sepals and 3 partially united petals; male flowers with 6-24 stamens with free thecae borne on a bifid connective, and a small aborting ovary; female flowers with a similar number of staminodes and an ovary formed by 3 united carpels. Fruits small, globose, reddish brown to black Seedling leaves simple and bifid.
and diversity: A genus of five species: A. martiana, widely distributed in Central America and NW pacific South America to N Ecuador; and four species endemic to each their small area in Venezuela and French Guyana.
Asterogyne, together with Welfia, Pholidostachys, Calyptronoma, Calyptrogyne and Geonoma, make up the group of geonomoid palms (tribe Geonomeae) characterised by having the flower groups sunken into pits in the inflorescence branches. Within that group, Asterogyne is distinguished by having the combination of flower pits covered by an immersed lower lip which rolls back at anthesis and stamens with free thecae borne on a bifid connective.
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