Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Geonoma cuneata

H. Wendl. ex Spruce, J. Linn. Soc., Bot.,11:104.1869

G. decurrens H. Wendl. ex Burr.

Small, monoecious shrub. Leaves few, simple, nearly sessile or borne on a narrow trunk 3-4 cm diam and 2 m tall; internodes 1.5-2 cm long; petioles 10-25 cm long; blades deeply 2-lobed at apex (the long acuminate lobes straight or curved inward), 1-1.5 m long, 20-35 cm wide at apex, narrowed toward base, strongly pleated especially near rachis, decurrent on petiole, the margin entire, the veins 3-15 mm apart, variously furfuraceous (at least when young). Spadix simple, held erect or drooping; peduncles 50-70 cm long, glabrous, ensheathed by tubu­lar, densely tomentose spathes at base; rachis 25-40 cm long, 5-9 mm wide, minutely rugose and obscurely appressed-pubescent; flower pits in 7-10, ± oblique series 1-2 mm apart; staminate flowers whitish, exserted; pistillate flowers shorter, embedded. Fruits mostly ellip­soid, 7-8 mm long, somewhat smaller on drying, gla­brous, greenish to yellow or pale orange at maturity; exocarp hard; seed 1. Croat 10825.

Common in deep woods, particularly in the older for­est. Flowering and fruiting data are inconclusive, but most flowering occurs in the rainy season, especially the early rainy season. Fruits develop in both the rainy and the dry seasons. Flowering and fruiting inflorescences may occur on the same plant, indicating either that the fruits require more than a year to develop or, probably more likely, that the plants flower more than once a year.

The only palm in the flora with an entire adult leaf. It may be confused with juveniles of many other palms, which also have entire leaves, but the juvenile leaves of other species are usually much smaller.

Nicaragua to Colombia; elevations below 100 m. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, San Blas, and Panama and from premontane wet forest in Coclé (El Valle).

See Fig. 66.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Geonoma cuneata Infructescences
  • Geonoma cuneata seed-dry
  • Geonoma cuneata seed-wet
  • Geonoma cuneata
  • Geonoma cuneata Fruit
  • Geonoma cuneata Fruit Leaf
  • Geonoma cuneata Fruit Leaf
  • Geonoma cuneata var. cuneata
  • Geonoma cuneata inflorescences
  • Geonoma cuneata inflorescences