H. Balslev 62027

Stem solitary erect, numerous adventitious roots at the base, arranged in a dense mass, occuring at the basal 30 cm, brown, with li ttle spines ca . 5 mm thick . Stem 10 m tall, 30 cm diam. at the base, quickly swelling to 37 cm, then gradually tapering to ca. 30 cm, smooth, greyish, internodes grey, nodes brown in oblique, unevenly wide (ca. 10 cm) rings around the stem. No crownshafts. Leaves ca. 20, erect in sterile immature individuals, arching spreading in mature individuals, petiole and rachis slightly twisted so the pinnae are in a vertical plane. Leaves cleanly abscissing, leaving a clean stem. Sheath and petiole not distinguishable, base not completely encircling the stem; sheath and petiole 250 cm, woody, 30 cm w de at the base, tapering to 8 cm at the apex, rounded below, channeled above, margins with very long strong fibers up to 100 cm long, ca. 1 mm thick giving the base of the crown a very fibrous appearence. Rachis 5 m long, base 8 cm wide, rounded below, flat above, margins flat, whitish brown below, green above, cross section in the middle flat below, vertical sides, green except below where it is whitish brown, pinnae inserted on the vertical sides. Pinnae 131 per side opposite below, subopposite above, evenly spaced ca. 4 cm apart, arranged in one plane, dark green above, light green below, strongly reduplicate; basal pinna 81 x 1 cm, middle pinna 139 x 7 cm, apical pinna 72 x 2 cm. Inflorescences two kinds, both infrafoliar erect at anthesis pendulous after anthesis. Staminate inflorescence creamy yellow allover with a smell of fermeting fruits. Peduncle 80 cm long, 5 cm diam, terete. Prophyll 96 cm long, 19 cm wide at middle, flattened, bicarinate, woody becoming fibrous. Peduncular bract inserted ? cm from base of peduncle, ca. 280 cm long ca. 50 cm wide when opened at anthesis, boatshaped at anthesis, with an 50 cm long acuminate non opening tip, brown on outside, sulcate on outside, outer woody layer ca . 5 mm thick inner light yellowish layer ca. 8 mm thick spongy. Rachis 156 cm long, apical 40 cm without rachillae but flower bearing. Rachillae 598, each one with a minute apiculate bract at base, simple, basal 5 cm sterile, all rachillae ca. 26 – 28 cm long, ascending at anthesis, flowers (male) ca. 120 per rachilla, inserted in two rows of diads on che abaxial (basal) side of the rachilla. Two basal rachillae with one and six pistillate flowers respectively, all other flowers staminate. Pistillate inflorescence; rachillae up to 40 cm long, with 19 pistillate flowers at base and a 5 cm apex of staminate flowers. Fruits densely bunched in 200 x 50 cm clump. Fruits 5 cm long, 3 cm wide, obovoid, oblique, acuminate, l-seeded. Common name: PALMA REAL The fruits of this palm are harvested when ripe (then orange red). The kernels are sold in El Carmen at 800 Sucres per ‘quintal’ ( = 450 pounds). The kernels contain oil which was formerly used for local consumption. Nowadays the oil is extracted in the factories for extraction of oil from the African Oil Palm which is much cultivated in the area. The oil of “Palmae Real” is however inferior to that of the African Oil Palm.