Pelagodoxa Becc.
  • Rev. Hort. (Paris) 89: 302 (1917) 

Notes: Distribution: Marquesas

General Description

Moderate, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, bare, ringed with close leaf scars. Leaves pinnately ribbed, undivided except for the bifid apex, but often split by wind; leaf sheaths soon splitting opposite the petiole, not forming a crownshaft, densely tomentose, with an irregular ligule at the mouth, disintegrating into fine only partially enclosing the inflorescence in bud, splitting abaxially near the tip, beaked, strongly 2-keeled, coriaceous to sub-woody, densely tomentose, tending to disintegrate into fibres; peduncular bract longer than the prophyll, inserted just above the prophyll, tubular, beaked, enclosing the inflorescence in bud, densely tomentose; subsequent bracts rather small, incomplete, broad, triangular; rachis only slightly longer than the peduncle; all inflorescence axes tomentose; rachillae stiff, relatively thick, gradually tapering to a pointed tip, bearing spirally arranged, shallow pits, the rachilla bracts forming low triangular lips to the pits, pits in the proximal ca. 1/4–1/3 of rachillae containing triads, distally containing paired or solitary staminate flowers, the rachilla bracts at the tips of the rachillae more prominent than at the base; floral bracteoles low, rounded, inconspicuous, included within the pits. Staminate flowers small, ± globular, ± symmetrical, only partially exserted from the pit; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, strongly keeled, rather chaffy; petals 3, about twice as long as the sepals, united proximally and adnate to the receptacle forming a stalk-like base, distally ± triangular-ovate, striate, valvate; stamens 6, the filaments united basally to the pistillode forming a solid column above the insertion of the free portion of petals, free filaments fleshy, triangular, gradually tapering to the connective, anthers short, medifixed, basally sagittate, latrorse, the connective prolonged in a brief point; pistillode pyramidal. Pollen ellipsoidal slightly asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar or slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 22–27 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers globose, at anthesis larger than the staminate, tending to crack open the floral pits; sepals 3, distinct, broad, rounded, imbricate; petals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate except for brief, triangular valvate tips, very briefly joined basally to form a short broad stalk with the receptacle; staminodes 3–6, triangular, flattened, very small; gynoecium ± trilocular, uniovulate or rarely a second ovule present, rounded, stigmas 3, short, reflexed, ovule laterally attached, campylotropous. Fruit large, spherical, perianth whorls persistent, stigmatic remains basal, the fruit surface cracked into low, pyramidal, corky warts; epicarp obsolescent at maturity, mesocarp massively corky with abundant radiating fibres, endocarp thin, woody. Seed basally attached with rounded hilum, endosperm homogeneous with a large central hollow; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 32.

Diagnostic Description

Striking solitary palm of Pacific islands with a ± undivided strongly discolorous leaf and corky-warted fruit.


Leaf (Tomlinson 1961); floral (Stauffer et al. 2004), and fruit (Essig et al. 1999, Chapin et al. 2001).


Occurs as a few individuals in dense rain forest in a humid valley at about 135 m above sea level. In cultivation, there are two strikingly different sizes of fruit.


One species, apparently confined to the Marquesas Islands.


The young endosperm is said to be eaten; the palm is cultivated and much sought-after as an ornamental.

Common Names

Enu, vahani.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Pacific South-Central Pacific Marquesas
Introduced into
  • Asia-Tropical Papuasia Solomon Is.
  • Pacific Southwestern Pacific Vanuatu

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 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.