Phoenicophorium borsigianum

Phoenicophorium borsigianum

Product Code:sm
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  • 49.00€

Stevensonia borsigiana

The thief palm, Phoenicophorium borsigianum, is the the only species in its genus, and represents a unique evolutionary lineage for the Seychelles. It is a fairly tall, solitary, slender spiny palm to about 15m high with enormous undividied but indented leaves and was for some time called Stevensonia borsigiana but it has subsequently been renamed Phoenicophorium borsigianum. It is a monoecious palm, both male and female flowers are borne on the same tree on an inflorescence that emerges below the crown.

Similar species: It is similar in appearance to a Pelagodoxa henryana, only with more oranges and yellows in petioles and stems.

Stems: Heavily ringed with leaf scars, formed by the loss of leaves, bearing black spines on younger plants, ± unarmed at maturity.

Crownshaft: Absent.

Leaves: Up to two metres in length. Lamina entire (except what wind damage does- which is actually the norm), deep emerald green, though the new leaves are a deep maroon, crinkled in appearance due to the prominent veins, and (bifid) split at the ends with orange-edged serrations. Petiole orange up to half a metre long and armed with black spines.

This palm is an endemic and relatively widespread palm tree in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. This beautiful palm grows in an undergrowth of moist forests at low and medium altitudes, either in deep shade or in more open rocky outcrops, but can even settle in heavily degraded and infested forests, where invasive alien species dominate. It is therefore a very hardy palm. This palm has significant thorns on the stems and leaf bases which were a defense against giant tortoises, which moved freely on the islands.

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Tags: stevensonia, borsigiana