1. Family: Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Genus: Balaka Becc.
      1. Balaka streptostachys D.Fuller & Dowe

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Fiji (Vanua Levu: Mt. Sorolevu).

    Proposed for IUCN Red List threatened category - Critically Endangered. There are 50-60 adult trees in the single known population of this unusual palm. This area has been selectively logged, and future logging is imminent. Dick Phillips (personal communication) has two seedlings of this taxon in cultivation in Fiji.
    Fiji. Vanua Levu, known from a single location S of Labasa on the logging road toward Mt. Sorolevu, at 300 m elevation.
    General Description
    Solitary palm, trunk erect, 4-7 m tall, dbh 7-10 cm, base not expanded, internodes congested, dark green to grey with age, nodes conspicuous, light green-brown. Leaves eight to ten in the crown, held erect, slightly arcuate, regularly pinnate, to 3 m long including petiole and leafsheath, adaxially mid green, abaxially olive green; petiole 35-45 x 2.5-3.5 cm wide, adaxially concave, abaxially rounded, densely tomentose with scattered long dark scales; leafsheath tubular, split longitudinally opposite the petiole in the upper quarter, 30-50 cm long, abaxially green-light brown, densely tomentose with scattered dark scales, adaxially white, glabrous, margins at the apex lacerate-fibrous, fibers coarse and thick; rachis densely tomentose with scattered dark scales, proximally channelled, becoming ridged distally adaxially, abaxially rounded proximally, flattened distally, diamond-shaped in cross-section at mid rachis. Pinnae in one plane, regularly arranged, sub-opposite, 18-22 per side, obliquely truncate at the apex, apically dentate; mid-leaf pinnae elongately falcate, 83-95 x 6-8 cm wide, tapered from the middle toward the apex and the base; basal pinnae 90-110 x 6-7 cm wide; distal pinnae increasingly elongate to compactly cuneate toward the leaf apex, apical pair basally joined for one-sixth to one-fourth their length; mid rib prominent on both sides in all pinnae, secondary ribs almost as prominent abaxially only, two to six each side of pinna, marginal veins thick, lower marginal vein tomentose. Inflorescence interfoliar becoming infrafoliar in age, 1-I.5 m long, branched to three orders; axes densely silver tomentose when young, densely red-brown tomen- tose at maturity; prophyll boat-shaped,3 5-40 cm long, fully encircling the peduncle at attachment, persistent; peduncular bract one, 70-78 cm long, attached 27-30 cm above attachment of the prophyll, narrowly tubular, persistent and witheringt o a fibrous papyraceous tate;p eduncle elongate, 60-65 x 2.0-3.5 cm wide, laterally compressede, lliptical in cross section; rachilla 16-30 x 0.4-0.5 cm wide, irregularly angled in cross-section, densely tomentose, triads in shallow pits, three to eight triads ranked linear-distichous, rachilla with 40˚-60˚ twists at intermittent intervals, with three to five twists per rachilla. Flowers in triads for entire length ofthe rachilla; staminate flowers bullet-shaped in bud, 6-7 mm long, symmetrical, white; sepals triangular, 3 mm long, margins smooth; petals eiongare, 6 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, apically pointed, thick, apically valvate; stamens 20-35; filaments thino 3-4 mm long; anthers linear, 4 mm long, dorsifixed, versatile; pistillode elongate, 4-5 mm long, flask-shaped. Pollen elliptical in polar view, long axis ca. 36 pm, short axis ca. 15 pm, monosulcate, exine tectate, finely reticulate. Fruit irregularly ovoid, tapered toward the apex, 18-25 x 8-14 mm wide, orange-red at maturity, stigmatic remains apical on a beaked cone; epicarp smooth, drying moderately granular; mesocarp 2-3 mm thick, fibrous; endocarp longitudinally ridged, four-angled in cross section, apex with a moderate beaked extension, surface with numerous irregular shallow channels; seed similarly shaped as endocarp; hilum longitudinal; endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Eophyll bifid.
    Grows as an understory palm in lower montane rainforest in a boggy area. Balaka streptostachys ocurs as an understory palm species in mixed evergreen-lower montane rainforest. The single known population is growing on very wet, spongy ground in a flat section of the Mt. Sorolevu foothills. This area receives well over 3000 mm ofrain per year. The associated vegetation includes the palms Alsmithia longipes H.E. Moore (new island record McClatchey and Fuller 1101/191, 13 May 1995, and FTG, SUVA]), Balaka macrocarpa Burret and Physokentia thurstonii (Becc.) Becc. Higher up the slopes starting at c. 500 m large numbers of Gulubia microcarpa Essig (new island record McClatchey and Fuller 1117/210, l7 May 1995, FTG, SUVA]) can be found and Clinostigma exorrhizum (H. Wendl.) Becc. occurs above 900 m on the slopes and the top of Mt Sorolevu.
    Palma, Balakae microcarpae et B. macrocarpae affinis, sed truncus robustior usque ad 10 cm diametro. Inflorescentia usque ad 1.5 m longa. Rachilla trigona asymmetrica, tortilis, tortis 40˚-60˚ intermittentibus, tortis 3-5 in quoque rachilla. Flores in 3-8 triadibus distichis inter tortos in foveis vadosis. Flos staminatus albastro tubernatus, 20-35 stamina. Fructus 18-25 mm longus, B-14 mm latus. Apex endocarpi aliquantum rostrata, pagina endocarpi canalibus vadosis irregularibus.
    Ethnobotany. No native Fijian name or uses for this palm have been recorded.



    Balaka streptostachys D.Fuller & Dowe appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Fuller, D. [338], Fiji K000030320 isotype

    First published in Palms 43: 10 (1999)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    • D. Fuller, A New Species of Balaka from Fiji. 1999


    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
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