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Palms we saw in Costa Rica


bgl

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Andrew Henderson has kindly provided us with the following list, which hopefully will answer most, if not all, questions:

Palms of Costa Rica – IPS Biennial – May 2008

Prepared by Andrew Henderson

These are some of the palms we saw at the three most ‘palm rich’sites during the biennial. I may have missed some, and misidentied others – but I think this is approximately correct!

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Acrocomia aculeata (tall single stems, spiny, plumose leaves – seen from bus along the road)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below, fruits in large, congested heads)

Attalea butyracea (very large, solitary stems, large pinnate leaves – seen from bus along the road)

Bactris hondurensis (clustered, few spines, small palm with undivided leaves hairy below)

Bactris gasipaes (tall palm, spiny, plumose leaves – seen along the road)

Chamaedorea deckeriana (small palm, simple leaves, spicate inflorescences)

Chamaedorea pinnatifrons (small understory palm, pinnate leaves)

Chamaedorea tepejilote (taller palm, green stem, regularly pinnate leaves, branched white inflorescences, very common here)

Desmoncus costaricensis (climbing palm, only one plant seen)

Euterpe precatoria (tall palm, green or striped crownshaft, pendulous regular narrow leaflets – seen from the bus along the road)

Geonoma cuneata (small, acaulescent, simple leaf, spicate inflorescence)

Geonoma deversa (small, clustered, pinnate leaves, branched inflorescence below leaves)

Geonoma ferruginea (small, clustered, pinnate leaves, branched inflorescence below leaves)

Geonoma interrupta (medium, solitary stem, only one plant seen here)

Geonoma pinnatifrons (small with large branched inflorescence amongst the leaves)

Prestoea decurrens (usually solitary, tall, no crownshaft, regularly pinnate leaves with the leaflets coming to a narrow point,looks like Euterpe, very common here)

Synechanthus warscewiczianus (medium palm, clustered stems, looks like a Chamaedorea except for the broom-like inflorescence)

Braulio Carillo and Rain Forest Tram

Asterogyne martiana (short stemmed, narrow simple leaves, few branched inflorescence on long peduncle)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below fruits in large, congested infructescences)

Bactris coloradonis (large, open clumps, pinnate leaves, spiny)

Bactris gracilior (small, elegant, with interrupted-pinnate leaves)

Bactris hondurensis (clustered, few spines, small palm with undivided leaves hairy below)

Calyptrogyne ghiesbreghtiana (short-stemmed, wide simple (usually) leaves, spicate inflorescenced with the bract scar at apex of peduncle)

Chamaedorea pinnatifrons (small understory palm, pinnate leaves)

Cryosophila warscewiczii (only palmate leaf palm here, solitary stem with root spines)

Desmoncus costaricensis (climbing palm, only one plant seen)

Euterpe precatoria (tall palm, green crownshaft, pendulous regular narrow leaflets)

Geonoma congesta (forming large, open clumps, very common here, branched inflorescences with short, thick branches)

Geonoma cuneata (small, solitary stem, simple leaves, spicate inflorescence)

Geonoma ferruginea (small, clustered, pinnate leaves)

Geonoma pinnatifrons (small with large branched inflorescence amongst the leaves)

Hyospathe elegans subsp. costaricensis (medium palm, clustered stems, green crownshaft, looks like a small Euterpe)

Iriartea deltoidea (tall, stilt-root palm, the cone of black roots solid and not possible to see through)

Pholidostachys pulchra (medium, stems reddish-brown, pinnate leaves, spicate inflorescence with yellowish fruits)

Prestoea decurrens (usually solitary, tall, no crownshaft, regular pinnate leaves with the leaflets coming to a narrow point, looks like Euterpe, very common here)

Reinhardtia gracilis (small palm with windows in the leaves – a few plants planted near the tram station)

Socratea exorrhiza (tall, stilt-root palm, the cone of brown roots open and possible to see through)

Synechanthus warscewiczianus (medium palm, clustered stems, looks like a Chamaedorea except for the broom-like inflorescence)

Welfia georgii (tall solitary stems, large crown of regularly pinnate leaves)

Carara National Park

Acrocomia aculeata (tall single stems, spiny, plumose leaves)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below fruits in large, congested infructescences)

Attalea butyracea (very large, solitary stems, large pinnate leaves)

Bactris sp. (maybe B. glandulosa) (large, open clumps, pinnate leaves, spiny)

Chamaedorea tepejilote (medium, green stem, pinnate leaves)

Cryosophila guagara (only palmate leaf palm here, solitary stem with root spines)

Neonicholsonia watsonii (acaulescent, pinnate leaves, long inflorescences sticking straight up amongst the leaves)

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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Great information Bo, thanks.

Some of the C. tepejilote had roots emerging from the trunk above my head!!

Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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Thanks Bo! Now I know what species of Welfia that was!

Formerly Jeff in Costa Rica
 

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Awesome, thanks Bo! I have to give a presentation for the Palm Society of Southern California, so hopefully I can put some names with my pictures...

Jack Sayers

East Los Angeles

growing cold tolerant palms halfway between the equator and the arctic circle...

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I have contacted Andrew and he has confirmed the following:

1) Iriartea deltoidea should be added to the Arenal list

2) Correct name is Welfia regia, NOT W. georgii.

I have made this addition and correction in the list below.

UPDATED LIST

Palms of Costa Rica – IPS Biennial – May 2008

Prepared by Andrew Henderson

These are some of the palms we saw at the three most ‘palm rich’sites during the biennial. I may have missed some, and misidentied others – but I think this is approximately correct!

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Acrocomia aculeata (tall single stems, spiny, plumose leaves – seen from bus along the road)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below, fruits in large, congested heads)

Attalea butyracea (very large, solitary stems, large pinnate leaves – seen from bus along the road)

Bactris hondurensis (clustered, few spines, small palm with undivided leaves hairy below)

Bactris gasipaes (tall palm, spiny, plumose leaves – seen along the road)

Chamaedorea deckeriana (small palm, simple leaves, spicate inflorescences)

Chamaedorea pinnatifrons (small understory palm, pinnate leaves)

Chamaedorea tepejilote (taller palm, green stem, regularly pinnate leaves, branched white inflorescences, very common here)

Desmoncus costaricensis (climbing palm, only one plant seen)

Euterpe precatoria (tall palm, green or striped crownshaft, pendulous regular narrow leaflets – seen from the bus along the road)

Geonoma cuneata (small, acaulescent, simple leaf, spicate inflorescence)

Geonoma deversa (small, clustered, pinnate leaves, branched inflorescence below leaves)

Geonoma ferruginea (small, clustered, pinnate leaves, branched inflorescence below leaves)

Geonoma interrupta (medium, solitary stem, only one plant seen here)

Geonoma pinnatifrons (small with large branched inflorescence amongst the leaves)

Iriartea deltoidea (tall, stilt-root palm, the cone of black roots solid and not possible to see through)

Prestoea decurrens (usually solitary, tall, no crownshaft, regularly pinnate leaves with the leaflets coming to a narrow point,looks like Euterpe, very common here)

Synechanthus warscewiczianus (medium palm, clustered stems, looks like a Chamaedorea except for the broom-like inflorescence)

Braulio Carillo and Rain Forest Tram

Asterogyne martiana (short stemmed, narrow simple leaves, few branched inflorescence on long peduncle)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below fruits in large, congested infructescences)

Bactris coloradonis (large, open clumps, pinnate leaves, spiny)

Bactris gracilior (small, elegant, with interrupted-pinnate leaves)

Bactris hondurensis (clustered, few spines, small palm with undivided leaves hairy below)

Calyptrogyne ghiesbreghtiana (short-stemmed, wide simple (usually) leaves, spicate inflorescenced with the bract scar at apex of peduncle)

Chamaedorea pinnatifrons (small understory palm, pinnate leaves)

Cryosophila warscewiczii (only palmate leaf palm here, solitary stem with root spines)

Desmoncus costaricensis (climbing palm, only one plant seen)

Euterpe precatoria (tall palm, green crownshaft, pendulous regular narrow leaflets)

Geonoma congesta (forming large, open clumps, very common here, branched inflorescences with short, thick branches)

Geonoma cuneata (small, solitary stem, simple leaves, spicate inflorescence)

Geonoma ferruginea (small, clustered, pinnate leaves)

Geonoma pinnatifrons (small with large branched inflorescence amongst the leaves)

Hyospathe elegans subsp. costaricensis (medium palm, clustered stems, green crownshaft, looks like a small Euterpe)

Iriartea deltoidea (tall, stilt-root palm, the cone of black roots solid and not possible to see through)

Pholidostachys pulchra (medium, stems reddish-brown, pinnate leaves, spicate inflorescence with yellowish fruits)

Prestoea decurrens (usually solitary, tall, no crownshaft, regular pinnate leaves with the leaflets coming to a narrow point, looks like Euterpe, very common here)

Reinhardtia gracilis (small palm with windows in the leaves – a few plants planted near the tram station)

Socratea exorrhiza (tall, stilt-root palm, the cone of brown roots open and possible to see through)

Synechanthus warscewiczianus (medium palm, clustered stems, looks like a Chamaedorea except for the broom-like inflorescence)

Welfia regia (tall solitary stems, large crown of regularly pinnate leaves)

Carara National Park

Acrocomia aculeata (tall single stems, spiny, plumose leaves)

Astrocaryum alatum (single stems, spiny, leaves silvery below fruits in large, congested infructescences)

Attalea butyracea (very large, solitary stems, large pinnate leaves)

Bactris sp. (maybe B. glandulosa) (large, open clumps, pinnate leaves, spiny)

Chamaedorea tepejilote (medium, green stem, pinnate leaves)

Cryosophila guagara (only palmate leaf palm here, solitary stem with root spines)

Neonicholsonia watsonii (acaulescent, pinnate leaves, long inflorescences sticking straight up amongst the leaves)

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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Thanks to Andrew and Bo for this. I was very busy taking photos and writing notes as Andrew ID'd palms along the trail at Arenal and Braulio Carillo. This list is a significant additional help. There's nothing like seeing palm species in their place in natural habitat and coming away with accurate images of what they are like.

Mike Merritt

Big Island of Hawaii, windward, rainy side, 740 feet (225 meters) elevation

165 inches (4,200 mm) of rain per year, 66 to 83 deg F (20 to 28 deg C) in summer, 62 to 80 deg F (16.7 to 26.7 Deg C) in winter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Bo & Andrew! I now have a "checklist" when I go back in Oct. :)

"If you need me, I'll be outside" -Randy Wiesner Palm Beach County, Florida Zone 10Bish

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Bo, Andrew,

Thanks for posting this list. I have a question in regards to the Astrocaryum that we saw at Braulio Carillo. I saw what looked to be two different looking Astrocaryum one with more spine than the other. There were several of both types. Could one be Astrocaryum confertum?

Thanks Jerry

Jerry D. Andersen

JD Andersen Nursery

Fallbrook, CA / Leilani Estates, HI

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Jerry,

I'm checking with Andrew. I don't believe he checks PalmTalk. Stay tuned....

Bo-Göran

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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We're not wasting any time here :lol: ....Andrew's very prompt response:

"Jerry: we could have seen it, but I think A. confertum is quite distinct in its taller stem and especially in its irregularly arranged, narrow leaflets, spreading in different planes (as opposed to the broad leaflets of A. alatum which spread in the same plane). Also A. confertum is quite rare in Costa Rica, and as far as I know, not reported from Braulio Carrillo.

Did you get a photo?

Hope this helps. Best. Andrew"

Leilani Estates, 25 mls/40 km south of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai'i. Elevation 880 ft/270 m. Average rainfall 140 inches/3550 mm

 

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