Nannorrhops H.Wendl.
  • Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 37: 147 (1879) 

Notes: Distribution: S. Arabian Pen., Iran to Pakistan

General Description

Moderate, shrubby, clustered, unarmed, hapaxanthic, hermaphroditic palm. Stems branched, prostrate or erect, branching in prostrate stems axillary, in erect stems dichotomous. Leaves induplicate, briefly costapalmate, marcescent; sheath splitting both below and opposite the petiole, brown, woolly tomentose and margins becoming frayed; petiole elongate, shallowly channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially; hastulae absent; blade regularly divided into stiff, glaucous, single-fold segments, further divided by abaxial splits, intersegmental filaments conspicuous, midribs prominent abaxially, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences above the leaves, compound, composed of branches equivalent to the axillary inflorescences of pleonanthic palms, each branch subtended by a leaf with reduced blade or by a tubular bract, and branched to the fourth order; prophyll tubular, 2-keeled; peduncular bracts 0 to several, similiar; bracts subtending first-order branches tubular, tips pointed, each first-order branch with a basal, tubular, 2-keeled, empty prophyll; bracts subtending second-order branches tubular; rachillae bearing conspicuous tubular bracts, variously tomentose, each subtending a flower group. Flowers very short pedicellate, in a condensed cincinnus of 1–3(–7) flowers, each flower bearing a minute tubular bracteole; calyx thin, tubular at the base with 3 triangular lobes; corolla with a short stalk-like base and 3 distinct lobes, imbricate in the proximal 2/3, valvate in the distal 1/3; stamens 6, distinct, the antesepalous with free filaments, and the antepetalous with filaments adnate at the base to the petals, filaments awl-shaped, inflexed at the tip, anthers elongate, versatile, latrorse; carpels 3, connate except at the very base, ovary distinctly 3-grooved, style single, stigma scarcely differentiated, ovule anatropous, attached ventrally and basally. Pollen ellipsoidal, usually slightly asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, reticulate or foveolate-reticulate, aperture margin psilate or scabrate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 30–39 µm [1/1]. Fruit subglobose to ellipsoidal, 1-seeded, stigmatic remains basal; epicarp smooth, mesocarp fleshy, endocarp thin. Seed globose to ovoid, with very shallow grooves corresponding to the rapheal bundles, hilum basal, endosperm homogeneous, usually with a small central hollow; embryo basal. Germination remote-ligular; eophyll undivided. Cytology: 2n = 36.

Diagnostic Description

Shrubby hermaphroditic hapaxanthic fan palm confined to oases or seasonal water courses in Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, distinctive in the leaf lacking a hastula, dichotomously branching erect stems and suprafoliar compound inflorescence.


Leaf (Tomlinson 1961), root (Seubert 1997), floral (Morrow 1965, Uhl 1969a).


Occurring in semi-desert areas where the water table is not too deep, but tending to avoid subtropical coastal habitats within its range; reaching to 1800 m altitude.


One variable species in semidesert areas of the Middle East (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Arabia).


The main use of Nannorrhops ritchiana is as a source of fibre for weaving and rope making. Though undoubtedly ornamental and one of the hardiest palms, it is only rarely grown.

Common Names

Mazari palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Temperate Arabian Peninsula Gulf States
  • Oman
  • Yemen
  • Western Asia Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent Pakistan


  • 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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