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Sabal_Louisiana

Which country would you say has the most palm species?

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Sabal_Louisiana

Brazil? Indonesia? India?

Actually, I'd put my money on Colombia (not spelled 'Columbia' as so many do). I recall some years ago going through a comprehensive volume (can't remember the title) on palms that had range maps and was struck by the frequency of those native to NW South America.

Brazil does have the greatest number of tree species of any country (8700+) and Colombia is second (though distant at around 5800) but Colombia is said to have a slight edge on total palm species (Arecacae).

You may know that the World's tallest palm species is in Colombia - Ceroxylon quindiuense - an Andean wax palm that exceeds heights of 50 m / 150 ft even up to 60 m / 200 ft rarely, possibly 70 m/230 ft max. In the Cocora valley, west of Bogota,  the stands of Quindio wax palm, as it is known locally, makes this area a popular tourist attraction.

Also, Colombia has the most bird species of any country (get this - close to 2000 species total).

This tropical country's remarkable biodiversity is likely due to its sweet spot presence at the convergence of North and South America, Pacific and Caribbean, along with contrasting altitudinal zones.

It also helps that the country is ultra-wet: the World's wettest spot may not be Mt. Waialeale in Hawaii or even Cherrapunji or Masynram in Meghalaya, India but rather somewhere in western Colombia which gets in places over 500 inches a year!

Edited by Sabal_Louisiana
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NC_Palms

I think you’re right. I once heard that Colombia has the most native palm species. I would imagine Venezuela and Madagascar being within the top ten as well. 

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RaleighNC

Interesting question. I just had a quick look. The catalog of plants of Colombia states that there are 289 species of palm in that country (http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co/en/resultados/familia/ARECACEAE/). The flora of Brazil has 300 species (http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/reflora/floradobrasil/FB53). Probably too close to call, considering undiscovered species and maybe differences in the enthusiasm of botanical lumpers and splitters in each country.

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DoomsDave

I’ll bet it’s a close to tie between Brazil Madagascar and Columbia 

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palmsOrl

Borneo?  New Guinea?  Sumatra?  These must be up there.

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Laaz

You didn't say "native", I'd say the USA now with all the imported palm species...  

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