Itaya H.E.Moore
  • Principes 16: 85 (1972) 

Notes: Distribution: W. South America to N. Brazil

General Description

Moderate, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, hermaphroditic palm. Stem smooth (drying roughened), bare except for fibrous remains of sheaths and a lattice of long persistent, split petioles below the crown. Leaves spreading, induplicate, palmate; sheaths short, fibrous, split opposite the petiole, persisting as fibrous margins on the bases of the petioles; petiole elongate, unarmed, the base prominently split, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially near the base, becoming biconvex and rhomboid in section distally, margins obtuse; adaxial hastula deltoid, often large, basally grooved, abaxial hastula narrow; blade held in one plane, thin, orbicular, divided to ca. 3/4 the radius at the middle, each half again deeply divided into several (4–7) elongate, wedge-shaped, 4–7-fold segments, these very shallowly divided apically into briefly bifid, 1-fold segments, abaxially lighter, midribs very prominent abaxially, transverse veinlets of 2 sizes very prominent. Inflorescences interfoliar, elongate, curved, branched to 3 orders basally, to 1 order distally; peduncle terete; prophyll short, 2-keeled, abaxially split, peduncular bracts ca. 5, bases tubular, apices inflated, acute, coriaceous, persistent, larger than the prophyll, marcescent, lightly tomentose, split on one side; rachis about as long as the peduncle, tapering, ± angled, tomentose; first-order branches each subtended by a persistent, marcescent bract similar to the peduncular bracts but progressively smaller and the upper-most scarcely tubular at the base, the branches ± flattened, adnate to the rachis often nearly to the succeeding bract; rachillae short, rather distant, slightly sinuous, each subtended by a linear acute bract, rachillae bearing spirally arranged, solitary flowers, each on a very short pedicel subtended by a small acute bract. Flowers creamy-white; sepals 3, connate in an acutely 3-lobed cup; petals 3, connate ca. 1/2 their length, the 3 lobes rounded and erect at anthesis, probably valvate in bud; stamens 18–24, one or two opposite each sepal, the remainder opposite the petals, filaments connate basally in a fleshy tube less than 1/2 their length, slightly adnate to corolla basally, fleshy and ± awl-shaped distally, anthers exserted at anthesis, oblong, dorsifixed at the middle, versatile, bifid at apex and base, latrorse; gynoecium of 1 carpel, eccentrically ovoid, narrowed to a slender curved style and oblique papillose stigma, ovule hemianatropous, attached adaxially at the base, the short funicle bearing a large oblique aril. Pollen ellipsoidal, with slight to obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, coarsely perforate, aperture margin finely perforate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 36–41 µm [1/1]. Fruit oblong-ovoid or subglobose with eccentrically apical stigmatic remains; epicarp minutely granular-roughened and with minute perforations, mesocarp thick, white, dry, with anastamosing fibres and a peripheral layer of sclerosomes, endocarp not differentiated. Seed oblong-ovoid, hilum elliptic, subbasal, raphe branches ascending-spreading, endosperm homogeneous; embryo eccentrically basal. Germination remote-tubular (Chavez 2003); eophyll undivided, elliptic. Cytology: 2n = 36.

Diagnostic Description

Solitary moderate hermaphroditic fan palms of Amazonian rain forest, stems becoming bare; leaves are discolorous, with the blade divided by a central deep split and petiole base split; stamens are numerous and the fruit minutely roughened.


Leaf (Uhl 1972c), roots (Seubert 1997), floral (Uhl 1972b).


Itaya amicorum occurs in rain forest at low elevations.


One species, known from a few localities in Amazonian Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.


Itaya is a promising horticultural subject because of its large and handsome leaves much resembling those of Licuala species, its moderate stature, and creamy-white inflorescences and flowers.

Common Names

Not recorded.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil North
  • Western South America Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru

Included Species


  • 1 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • D See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.