Kentiopsis Brongn.
  • Compt. Rend. Hebd. Séances Acad. Sci. 77: 398 (1873) 

Notes: Distribution: New Caledonia

General Description

Solitary, tall, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palms. Stem erect, thick basally, grey, ringed with ± somewhat prominent, rather close leaf scars and with exposed roots at the base. Leaves pinnate, erect or spreading, neatly abscising; sheaths forming a prominent crownshaft; petiole channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially; leaflets regularly arranged, lanceolate, acute to acuminate, single-fold, adaxially glabrous and with wax, abaxially densely covered with small punctiform scales and abundant ramenta along ribs, midrib prominent, marginal ribs second in size to midrib, numerous secondary ribs conspicuous abaxially, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences infrafoliar, branched to (2)–3–(4) orders basally, 1–2 orders distally, protandrous; peduncle very short, variously tomentose; prophyll and peduncular bract caducous, prophyll completely encircling the peduncle and enclosing the peduncular bract, briefly beaked, flat, keeled laterally, rather thin, chartaceous, both surfaces densely covered in whitish deciduous tomentum; peduncular bract like the prophyll but lacking keels; rachis elongate, longer than the peduncle, bearing spirally arranged, low, rounded, ± ruffled bracts subtending the branches and rachillae; rachillae rather slender to stout, about equal in length, straight or curved, usually glabrous, bearing spirally arranged prominent, rounded, lip-like bracts subtending flowers borne in triads of 2 staminate and a pistillate nearly throughout the rachillae, a few paired or solitary staminate flowers present distally; bracteoles surrounding the pistillate flower low, unequal, rounded, not sepal-like. Staminate flowers symmetrical or somewhat asymmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, ± deltoid, ± acute, imbricate basally, scarcely higher than wide; petals 3, valvate, angled, acute; stamens 11–38, shorter than, equalling or exceeding the petals, filaments erect at the apex in bud, anthers erect in bud, linear, dorsifixed, emarginate apically, bifid basally, latrorse, the connective elongate; pistillode nearly as high as the stamens (lacking, according to Beccari), with an attenuate, sometimes briefly trifid apex. Pollen ellipsoidal or oblate triangular, slight or obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus or trichotomosulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar or slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis ranging from 39–52 µm [1/4]. Pistillate flowers symmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate; petals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate with valvate apices; staminodes 3, small, tooth-like, borne at one side of the gynoecium, or 6 and connate in a ring; gynoecium pseudomonomerous, with 3 prominent, recurved stigmas, unilocular, uniovulate, ovule pendulous. Fruit ellipsoidal, red or purplish at maturity with apical or subapical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, drying minutely pebbled, mesocarp consisting of a shell of pale, short, ellipsoidal sclereids over pale parenchyma with a few included longitudinal fibres and at maturity a layer of tannin cells adjacent to flat, anastomosing fibres adherent to the endocarp, endocarp thin, fragile, not operculate. Seed ellipsoid or pyriform, attached by an elongate hilum, the raphe branches numerous, anastomosing, endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid, seedlings sometimes displaying saxophone growth, sometimes with distichous leaves. Cytology: 2n = 32

Diagnostic Description

Tall pinnate-leaved palms from New Caledonia with broom-like inflorescences.


Leaf (Uhl and Martens 1980), root (Seubert 1998a,1998b) and fruit (Essig and Hernandez 2002).


One species, Kentiopsis pyriformis, is found on ultramafic rock while the other three are found on schistose rocks. Kentiopsis oliviformis grows in forest transitional to semihumid forest and K. piersoniorum grows on exposed wet shrubby vegetation onmontane ridges. All four species tend to grow gregariously, forming spectacular colonies. Kentiopsis magnifica is the tallest and stateliest palm in New Caledonia. For further details, seePintaud and Hodel (1998).


Four species in New Caledonia.


Several of the species are becoming widespread in cultivation.

Common Names

No common names recorded.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Pacific Southwestern Pacific New Caledonia


  • 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.