Juania Drude
  • Nachr. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Georg-Augusts-Univ. 1878: 40 (1878) 

Notes: Distribution: Juan Fernández Is.

General Description

Solitary, moderate, unarmed, pleonanthic, dioecious palm. Stem stout, leaf scars oblique, internodes shorter above middle and very short at the crown, green, very smooth, with slight bloom. Leaves reduplicately pinnate, erect at first, then spreading; sheath fibrous, splitting opposite the petiole, not forming a crownshaft, covered with scaly tomentum when young; petiole much shorter than the rachis, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, with small brown scales; rachis triangular in cross-section, ridged adaxially, slightly rounded abaxially; leaflets narrow, single-fold, relatively short, bifid at tips, stiff, smooth, midribs more prominent adaxially, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences interfoliar, solitary, usually 2 developed each year, the remainder aborting, branched to 2 orders at least proximally; peduncle elongate; prophyll short, tubular, laterally keeled, flat, open apically; peduncular bracts 3, similar to the prophyll, the second the largest and enclosing the third in bud, both the second and third larger than and inserted at some distance above the prophyll and first bract, all tubular and ± dorsiventrally compressed in bud, splitting abaxially at anthesis, becoming pendulous, persistent in fruit and at length marcescent; rachis elongate, longer than the peduncle, bearing numerous, spirally arranged branches, those at the base once-branched into short stiff rachillae, distal branches less divided or undivided, each branch and rachilla subtended by a small, sometimes adnate bract, bracts often lacking distally. Flowers white, solitary, open from early in development, briefly pedicellate, the pedicel subtended by an acute bract, the individual flowers usually with a bracteole on the pedicel. Staminate flowers with 3 sepals, united in a 3-lobed cupule, the lobes acute, about as long as to longer than the tube; petals 3, distinct, ± asymmetrical, ovate-acute, imbricate basally, separated above and shorter than the stamens in bud and at anthesis; stamens 6, the filaments distinct, anthers basifixed, versatile, emarginate to bifid apically, sagittate but the locules not divergent basally, latrorse; pistillode minute, ovoid, with trifid apex. Pollen ellipsoidal, asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate-rugulate, aperture margin broad scabrate and finely perforate; infratectum columellate; longest axis ranging from 33–40 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers with 3 sepals, united in a 3-lobed cupule, the lobes, or some of them, as long as the tube; petals 3, distinct, imbricate basally and separated above in bud and in flower; staminodes 6, awl-shaped, distinct, lacking abortive anthers; gynoecium ovoid-attenuate, trilocular with 3 ovules, only 1 normally maturing, stigmas 3, short, recurved, ovules pendulous, hemianatropous. Fruit globose or nearly so, orange-red at maturity with eccentrically subapical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, mesocarp succulent and ± orange, with a few, flat, longitudinal, unbranched, whitish fibres adjacent to the very thin, cartilaginous endocarp, this adherent to the seed. Seed globose with mostly simple or forked vascular strands ascending from the base, endosperm homogeneous; embryo lateral in lower 1/3 or near the base. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll lanceolate, entire. Cytology not studied.

Diagnostic Description

Dioecious pinnate-leaved palm of Juan Fernandez Island off the coast of Chile. Similar to Ceroxylon and Oraniopsis but distinct in the combination of complete prophyll, distinct petals, consistently 6 stamens and the eccentrically subapical stigmatic remains.


Leaf, stem (Tomlinson 1969), root (Seubert 1996b)and flowers (Uhl 1969b). Single phloem strands in largevascular bundles of the petiole. Patterns of floral vasculatureare similar to those of Ravenea and Ceroxylon (Uhl 1969b).


Occurring on steep slopes and ridges in lower andupper montane forest at altitudes of 200–800 m above sealevel, most abundant above 500 m.


One species on Juan Fernandez Islands.


The apex is edible. In the past, the wood was used for walking sticks, cabinet work, and carvings.

Common Names

Juania palm, chonta palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Southern South America Juan Fernández Is.


  • 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 http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • 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; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • D See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm 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.