Jubaeopsis Becc.
  • Webbia 4: 171 (1913) 

Notes: Distribution: S. Africa

General Description

Moderate, clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stems erect, branching at the base and also aerially by forking, bearing leaf sheath remains distally, eventually becoming bare, marked with close leaf scars. Leaves pinnate, arranged in 5 vertical rows, marcescent or neatly abscising; sheaths tubular, soon disintegrating into an interwoven mass of fibres; apparent petiole short to elongate, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded, glabrous, the margins bearing the remains of leaf sheath fibres, or becoming smooth; rachis ± straight or curved, adaxially channelled near the base, angled distally, abaxially rounded or flattened; leaflets numerous, single-fold, close, regularly arranged, except at the very tip, stiff, held in one plane, linear, the tips mostly asymmetrically 2-lobed, except at the leaf tip where acute or sometimes hooked, thinly glaucous, adaxial surface bearing scattered, minute, dot-like scales, abaxially with scattered dot-like scales, and a few large brown ramenta along the main vein, transverse veinlets conspicuous, sinuous. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, branching to 1 order, shorter than the leaves, protandrous; peduncle elongate, round in cross-section; prophyll short, tubular, 2-keeled, enclosed within the leaf sheaths, splitting apically; peduncular bract inserted near the prophyll, tubular and entirely enclosing the inflorescence until shortly before anthesis, later splitting longitudinally along the abaxial face and expanding, becoming cowl-like, woody, smooth, abaxially somewhat striate but not grooved, apically with a short, laterally flattened beak; rachis usually shorter than the peduncle, bearing numerous, spirally arranged, rather distant, spreading rachillae, each subtended by a low triangular bract; rachillae elongate, swollen at the very base and with a short or long basal bare portion, above which bearing few to numerous spirally arranged triads, Distribution of Jubaeopsis distally bearing paired or solitary staminate flowers; rachilla bracts and floral bracteoles small, inconspicuous. Staminate flowers rather large, perforate and micro-channelled, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin asymmetrical, sessile; sepals 3, distinct, unequal, imbricate, ± triangular, similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis 63–81 µm [1/1]. Pistillate keeled; petals 3, distinct, very unequal, much larger than the sepals, flowers ovoid, only slightly larger than the staminate; sepals 3, distinct, boat-shaped with triangular tips, valvate; stamens (7–)8–16, filaments broad, rounded, with pointed tips, imbricate, somewhat irregularly slender, fleshy, ± cylindrical, apically inflexed, anthers linear, basally keeled; petals 3, distinct, ± twice as long as the sepals, broad, rounded, sagittate, dorsifixed, introrse; pistillode small, irregularly trifid. Pollen imbricate except at the short valvate triangular tips; staminodal ring ellipsoidal, frequently elongate, usually with either slight or obvious collar-like, very briefly toothed or consisting of several irregular tooth-asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate, like lobes; gynoecium ± ovoid, trilocular, triovulate, stigmas 3, very short, ± triangular, ovules hemianatropous, laterally attached. Fruit 1-seeded, brown at maturity, globose with a short apical beak, stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, mesocarp thin, fibrous, only slightly fleshy, easily separated from the endocarp at maturity, endocarp thick, bony, with 3 vertical grooves, the pores lateral just below the equator. Seed basally attached, somewhat irregular in shape, endosperm homogeneous with a large central cavity; embryo lateral, next to one of the endocarp pores. Germination remote tubular; eophyll entire, lanceolate. Cytology: 2n = 160–200.

Diagnostic Description

Clustering palm with short erect stems that frequently branch dichotomously, native to southeastern South Africa, staminate flowers with 7–16 stamens.


Root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b). See Robertson (1976a) for anatomy and development of fruit and seed.


Jubaeopsis caffra grows gregariously on the steep north, rocky banks of the rivers, near sea-level.


One species confined to the coastal reaches of two rivers in South Africa.


The endosperm may be eaten. Because of its rarity, Jubaeopsis caffra is sought after as a collector’s item.

Common Names

Pondoland palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Southern Africa Cape Provinces
  • KwaZulu-Natal

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 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.