Burretiokentia dumasii Pintaud & Hodel
  • Principes 42: 160 (1998) 

Notes: Distribution: WC. New Caledonia (Mé Maoya massif)

General Description

Solitary sub-canopy palm. Trunk 8-12 m tall, 10-13 cm dbh, prominently ringed. Leaves 10-12, borne in five ranks, spreading, expanding red; sheath 60-80 cm long, cylindric, distally costate along petiole axis, proximally rounded, abaxially pale green, covered with thick, white tomentum, adaxially bright pink with sparse to rather dense, white indument, splitting in distal ¾ opposite petiole and terminating on petiole in two fibrous, chartaceous, prominent wings; petiole 15-35 cm long, winged at least on proximal half or up to rachis base, adaxially channelled, glabrous, abaxially angled, initially white or grey-tomentose, aging puncticulate; rachis 2-2.50 m long; pinnae -25 on each side of rachis, borne in one plane, median ones 80-100 x 5-8 cm, distal ones 30-35 x 3 cm, proximal 2-3 pairs 25-30 x 0.8-1.5 cm, all straight, forward-pointing, acute to acuminate, 1-ribbed, glossy green and glabrous on both surfaces, paler abarially, midrib prominent adaxially, bearing sparse, brown scales, midrib very prominent abaxially, bearing brown-centered, whitemargined scales, 2-8 secondary nerves scarcely prominent, scales more abundant proximally. Inflorescences 1-4, infrafoliar, stiffly spreading, protandrous, 40-60 cm long, entirely and persistently greyish-tomentose, branched to 3 orders; peduncle 5-7 cm long, 3-5.5 cm wide and 2-3 cm thick distally; prophyll 25-40 x 10-15 cm, inserted 2-3 cm above peduncular base, bicarinate, bifid, chartaceous, incompletely encircling peduncle at insertion abaxially, splitting to 1/4-2/3 its length on opposite side; first peduncular bract 40-60 x 10-15 cm, oval-elongate, rostrate to acuminate, thin, completely encircling peduncle at insertion, inserted 1-2 cm above prophyll and exceeding it by 1/3-1/2, prophyll and first peduncular bract white-tomentose abaxially, second peduncular bract prominent, 8-13 x 3-5 cm, acute, bifid or truncate, densely greyish tomentose abaxially, glabrous adaxially, third peduncular bract to 5 x 3 cm, shape and indument same as second one; rachis 18-20 cm long, main branches 6-9, 5-8 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, second order branches 1-3 cm long, all branches angled; bracts subtending main branches triangular, 1-5 cm long, rachillae 18-35, divaricate, stout, 20-45 cm long, 1.3 cm diam.; rachis, branches, and rachillae densely greyish-tomentose. Flowers in spirally arranged triads except staminate only distally; triad clefts 8 mm wide, 4 mm high, 3 mm deep; bract subtending triad broadly rounded, densely fringed; outermost bracteole low, 4 x 2 mm, inner two bracteoles surrounding pistillate flower sepal-like, subequal, 3-4 x 3-3.5 mm; staminate flowers in bud 6 x 5 mm, at anthesis 11 x 11 mm, calyx 4 x 6 mm, sepals imbricate, prominently keeled, rounded apically, fringed; petals broadly ovate, 5 x 4 mm, ? longer than sepals, connate basally; stamens 6, filaments 4.5 mm long, connate basally in a short ring, inflexed apically, anthers 2.75 mm long, dorsifixed, locules with a central, sterile part; pistillode short, 2 mm high, conic; pistillate flowers 6.5 x 4.5 mm, ovoidcylindric; sepals 4 x 4 mm, rounded, sparsely fringed, imbricate; petals 5 x 5 mm, thin, broadly imbricate except valvate tips, fringed; staminodes three, within one petal, 1 mm long, triangular; pistil 6.5 x 3.5 mm, stigma trifid, lobes small, erect, ovule pendulous. Fruits 13 x 11 mm, obovoid-globose, pale green when immature, purplish at maturity, mesocarp grainy, tanniniferous with few included fibers, endocarp thin, crustaceous, sculptured and costate, operculate, with a band of fibers adherent to costa; seeds 8 x 8 mm, obpyramidal, depressed apically, sculptured, costate, endosperm homogeneous, embryo basal. Germination adjacentligular, eophyll deeply bifid; seedlings becoming strongly trigonous at base with age, leaf sheath sharply angled, late bifid leaves tristichous, petiole and rachis densely covered with numerous, prominent blackish scales, lamina obtriangular, to 40 cm long, lobes to 5 cm wide, connate in proximal 2/5 to half; trunkless juveniles with keeled leaf sheaths, petioles angled abaxially, deeply channelled adaxially and prominently winged, litter trapping; leaf sheath marcescent on trunked juveniles, abscissing and forming a crownshaft only in mature trees.


PHENOLOGY: Burretiokentio dumasii flowers in September and fruits in January.


Burretiokentia dumasii occurs in rain forest on ultramafic rocks. It is found mostly on rocky, well-drained sites on oxysols derived from peridotites.


Burretiokentia dumasii is known only from collections in Nodela Valley on the Me Maoya massif north of Bourail in west-central New Caledonia, at 600 m elevation. According to observations and photographs by J-P. Tivollier, however, it may also grow above Emma Mine on the ridge leading to Me Maoya summit at 1100 m elevation, and if so, it probably occurs elsewhere on the massif. A collection at Foret de Saille, south of Thio. in southeast New Caledonia (Hodel et al., 1501) may represent the same species. In that case, B. dumasii may be relativeIy widespread.


Low risk, conservation-dependent (LRcd) (lUCN, 1994). The type and only documented locality in Nodela Valley has been recently declared a Special Reserve of Flora and Fauna. The Forestry Service of Bourail manages and controls access to the reserve. Thus, although very rare, B. dumasii is adequately protected. This palm is abundant where it grows and regeneration is good.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Pacific Southwestern Pacific New Caledonia


  • 1 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 J-C. Pintaud & D. Hodel, Three new species of Burretiokentia in Principes 42. 1998

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
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Global Biodiversity Information Facility
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eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • 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; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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