Nephrosperma Balf.f.
  • J.G.Baker, Fl. Mauritius: 386 (1877) 

Notes: Distribution: Seychelles

General Description

Moderate, solitary, spiny when young, unarmed or only very sparsely armed when mature, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, becoming bare, conspicuously ringed with leaf scars, unarmed. Leaves pinnate, neatly abscising; sheaths tubular, becoming open, not forming a well-defined crownshaft, densely tomentose, bearing abundant, black spines in juveniles, ± unarmed or very sparsely armed in mature individuals, sheath margin irregularly ligule-like, tattering; petiole well developed, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded, bearing white indumentum and scattered scales, and few bristles near the base; rachis curved; leaflets rather regularly arranged, neatly curved, distant, composed usually of 2–3 folds, acute or acuminate, adaxially glabrous, abaxially with numerous, minute, dot-like scales and abundant ramenta along the adaxial ribs, transverse veinlets obscure; expanding leaf flushed red. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, branching to 1 order only, protandrous; peduncle very long (± 1/2 the length of the leaves or more), erect at first, becoming curved, winged at the base, ± oval in cross-section, unarmed, scaly; prophyll inserted near the base of the peduncle, persistent, coriaceous, tubular, 2-keeled, the wings tending to be irregularly split or toothed, splitting apically for a short distance, covered with rather dense scales and scattered white wax, armed with short weak bristles and spines or rarely unarmed; peduncular bract, inserted a short distance from the prophyll, elongate, with a conspicuous long beak, tubular at first, then splitting along its length, deciduous, scaly and spiny as the prophyll; rachis shorter than the peduncle, scaly, bearing rather lax, spirally arranged rachillae; rachis bracts minute; rachillae scaly, with a pronounced swelling and bare section at the base, very long, spreading, slender, bearing distant, spirally arranged, superficial triads throughout, except at the tip where bearing solitary or paired staminate flowers; floral bracteoles minute. Staminate flowers symmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, rounded, irregularly splitting, keeled; petals about 3–4 times as long as the sepals, 3, distinct, valvate, ± boat-shaped; stamens ca. 40–50, filaments elongate, anthers very small, rounded, with a broad connective, not versatile, latrorse; pistillode ovoid, conspicuous, minutely but clearly trifid at its tip. Pollen ellipsoidal asymmetric, occasionally elongate or pyriform; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis 35–43 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers globular; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, low, ± rounded, thick, tending to split irregularly; petals 3, distinct, imbricate, ± rounded, with short triangular, valvate tips; staminodes 6, small, tooth-like; gynoecium ± obpyriform, unilocular, uniovulate, with minute apical stigmas, ovule laterally attached, form unknown. Fruit relatively small, spherical to somewhat kidney-shaped, red, perianth whorls persistent, stigmatic remains lateral; epicarp shiny, smooth, mesocarp thinly fleshy with a layer of slender fibres next to the endocarp, endocarp very thin, cartilaginous, with a thin, ± rounded operculum. Seed ±globose, somewhat kidney-shaped, attached laterally near the base, with an oblong hilum, raphe branches distant, slightly embedded in the endosperm, endosperm deeply ruminate; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 32.

Diagnostic Description

Moderate solitary spiny pinnate-leaved palm endemic to Seychelles; the leaf sheaths do not form a crownshaft and the inflorescences have long peduncles; the seed is kidney-shaped.


Leaf (Tomlinson 1961), root (Seubert 1998a,1998b) and fruit (Essig et al. 2001).


A lowlands pecies, not occurring above 500 m altitude, growing on rocky slopes; also found in some secondary forest types.


One species confined to the Seychelles Islands; elsewhere widely cultivated.


Not recorded apart from its use as an ornamental.

Common Names

Latanier millepattes.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa Western Indian Ocean Seychelles


  • 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.