Kerriodoxa J.Dransf.
  • Principes 27: 4 (1983) 

Notes: Distribution: Pen. Thailand

General Description

Moderate, solitary, acaulescent or erect, unarmed, pleonanthic, dioecious palm. Stem very short, becoming erect, obscured by marcescent leaf bases, eventually becoming smooth, marked with very close leaf scars. Leaves induplicate, palmate, marcescent; sheath splitting opposite the petiole, not encircling the stem, not fibrous; petiole well developed, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, the margins hard and very sharp, surfaces bearing caducous indumentum; adaxial hastula conspicuous, abaxial hastula absent; blade regularly divided along adaxial ribs for ca. 1/4–1/3 radius into single-fold segments, thin, narrow, almost herbaceous, adaxially glabrous except for caducous, scurfy indumentum along the ribs, abaxially covered with dense white indumentum, midribs evident abaxially, transverse veinlets conspicuous, interfold filaments present in expanding leaf, soon disintegrating. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, emerging from a cleft on the abaxial surface of the sheath that subtends it, staminate and pistillate dissimilar. Staminate inflorescence becoming curved, copiously branched to 4 orders, the whole inflorescence very condensed and congested, creamy-white at first, becoming brown with age; peduncle short; prophyll tubular, concealed within leaf sheaths; rachis longer than the peduncle, bearing up to 15 bracts, tubular near the insertion, distally with a ± expanded triangular limb, adaxially glabrous, abaxially densely tomentose; first-order branches adnate to the inflorescence axis to just below the following bract, decreasing in size distally; all axes densely tomentose, each branch above the first-order subtended by a somewhat undulate tubular bract with a triangular apiculate limb; rachillae very slender, somewhat zigzag, bearing spirally arranged, tubular bracts with undulate margins and short, triangular, apiculate limbs, each subtending a low spur bearing 2 flowers and a minute triangular bracteole. Staminate flowers very small, ± symmetrical, creamy-yellow at anthesis; calyx with a basal, 3-angled tube densely covered in pale tomentum, and 3 narrow, triangular, apiculate, keeled, ± glabrous lobes with somewhat undulate margins; corolla stalk-like at the base, 3-angled, lobes 3, triangular, the margins and abaxial surfaces papillose, adaxial surface somewhat wrinkled; stamens 6, borne in 2 whorls, the antesepalous filaments free, the antepetalous joined together at the base and partly adnate to the petals, filaments ± equal in size, elongate, gradually tapering, anthers oval, latrorse; pistillode absent. Pollen ellipsoidal, with slight to obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate to semitectate, reticulate with frequently interrupted angular, occasionally spinulose, muri, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis 22–33 µm [1/1]. Pistillate inflorescence erect, much more robust than the staminate, and less congested, branching to 2 orders only; peduncular bracts and rachis as in the staminate inflorescence but larger; first- and second-order branches appearing articulated, because of dense tomentum on axes and the truncate, ± glabrous bracts; rachillae somewhat zigzag, bearing low bracts with short triangular tips and glabrous margins, each subtending a short, densely tomentose spur, bearing a pair of flowers; bracteoles, if present, obscured by tomentum. Pistillate flowers larger than the staminate, creamy-yellow at anthesis; calyx forming a densely tomentose tube tipped with 3 short, narrow, triangular, glabrous lobes; corolla base stalk-like, densely tomentose, tipped with 3 triangular lobes, spreading at anthesis, glabrous, the margins ± translucent, denticulate or papillose; staminodes 6 with and stigmatic remains persisting at the fruit base, corolla base enlarging elongate filaments and flattened empty anthers; gynoecium of 3 (rarely 4) after fertilization; epicarp orange-yellow, covered in low pustules, carpels, distinct at their tips, connate at the middle, stigmas short, outward mesocarp thick, soft and spongy, endocarp thin. Seed basally attached, curving; ovule laterally attached, anatropous. Fruit 1- or rarely 2-seeded, endosperm shallowly ruminate; embryo subbasal. Germination remote-relatively large, spherical, concave depressed at base, the abortive carpels ligular; eophyll broad lanceolate, apically lobed. Cytology not studied.

Diagnostic Description

Spectacular solitary short-stemmed dioecious fan palm of southern Thailand, distinctive in the large strongly discolorous leaf, the tubular rachilla bracts with much tomentum and the large fruit covered in short papillae.


Root (Seubert 1997).


Kerriodoxa elegans grows gregariously in the undergrowth of rather dry evergreen foreston slopes of hills at altitudes of ca. 100–300 m above sea level. Little is known of its natural history.


One species known from twolocalities in peninsular Thailand.


No local uses have been recorded but the ornamentalpotential is great and, since its rediscovery and description, thepalm has become widespread in cultivation.

Common Names

Common names not recorded.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Tropical Indo-China Thailand


  • 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
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