Burretiokentia grandiflora Pintaud & Hodel
  • Principes 42: 162 (1998) 

Notes: Distribution: SE. New Caledonia

General Description

Solitary, sub-canopy palm. Trunk 8-12 m tall, 9-14 cm dbh, prominently ringed. Leaves 8-12, borne in five ranks, spreading, expanding light green; sheath 40-80 cm long, fusiform, weakly costate distally to rounded, white tomentose abaxially, glabrous adaxially, splitting deeply opposite petiole nearly to base and terminating on petiole in two 20 cm long wings; petiole 18-25 cm long, channelled adaxially, weakly angled to rounded abaxially, glabrescent; rachis 2-2.80 m long; pinnae 20-25 on each side of rachis, borne ± in one plane, median pinnae 80-90 x 8-11 cm, distal ones 25 x 2.5 cm, proximal ones 38 x 3 cm (lorae absent), all acute, arranged at 5-11. cm intervals, green and glabrous on both surfaces, midrib prominent, bearing brown scales adaxially and brown-centered, white-margined scales abaxially, secondary veins slightly prominent abaxially, bearing sparse scales. Inflorescences 1-4, infrafoliar, spreading, 40-70 cm long, branched to 3 orders; peduncle 7-9 cm long, 3-6 cm wide and 1.5-2 cm thick distally, white-tomentose proximally up to insersion of first peduncular bract, indument becoming sparse above, distally green, glabrous; prophyll 27-48 cm long, inserted 2.5 cm above peduncular base, bicarinate, truncate, incompletely encircling peduncle on abaxial side, splitting in distal 2/3 on adaxial side of petiole, white-floccose abaxially, glabrous adaxially; first peduncular bract rather thick, 50-97 x 12 cm, fusiform, prominently rostrate, indument same as prophyll, inserted 1.5-2 cm above prophyll, completely encircling peduncle at insertion, second peduncular bract 4-25 x 3-11 cm at base, triangular to subulate, acute, sometimes inserted iaterally and then encircling more than half of the peduncle at insertion, covered with abundant white tomentum abaxially, third peduncular bract 2-6 cm long, 3 cm wide at base, triangular, acuminate; rachis 9-20 cm long with 4-6 main branches 3-11 cm long, thick, angled, bracts subtending branches 1-5 cm long, triangular, acuminate, upper ones reduced to low ridges; rachillae 12-l8, 25-58 cm long, 1-1.4 cm diam., straight, rounded; rachis, branches and rachillae glabrous except in triad clefts, initially cream-colored with a touch of pink becoming pale green. Flowers in triads proximally, only paired or solitary staminate flowers distally; triads in 2 spirally arranged rows, disposed in horizontal, oval clefts 10 mm long, 8 mm high, 2.5-3 mm deep, subtended by a prominent rounded bract 2-2.5 mm high, broadly rounded to truncate, sharp-edged; outer bracteole low, 5 x 1.5 mm, inner two bracteoles sepal-like, 5-7 x 3-5 mm, broadly rounded, bracteoles and pedicels of flowers with whitish, 0.5 mm long hairs; staminate flowers in bud 10 x 6.5 mm, bullet-shaped, at anthesis 12-14 mm x 15 mm; calyx 3-3.5 x 7-8 mm, bowl-like, sepals strongly bowl-like, imbricate nearly to apex, truncate to broadly rounded, dark-margined, abaxially sharply keeled; petals 8 x 6 mm, ovate, thickened, lightly ridged adaxially, striate abaxially when dry, valvate and spreading apically, connate in basal 1/6; stamens 6, 9-10 mm high, ascending to spreading, exceeding petals, filaments 8 mm long, 1.5 mm wide at middle, 3 mm wide at base, inflexed at apex, anthers 4 mm long, dorsifixed just below middle, locules with a sterile, central part, filaments connate basally in a 1 mm high ring and adnate to pistillode and petals, forming a 3 mm tall base; pistillode broadly conic, 3 mm high. Pistillate flowers just prior to anthesis 10 x 7 mm, bullet-shaped; calyx 6 x 8 mm, deeply cupshaped, sepals scooplike, imbricate nearly to apex, broadly rounded or truncate, dark-margined, fringed; petals 8-9 x 6-7 mm, boat-shaped, ovate to oval, imbricate nearly to apex, dark-margined; staminodes 3, within 1 petal, 2 x 1 mm, triangular-rounded, connate basally; pistil 10 x 5.5 mm, ovoid, stigma lobes small, erect, acute. Fruit oval-obovoid, 2.2 x 1.7 cm, pale green when immature with prominent apical stigmatic remains 5 mm diam., perianth 7 mm high, endocarp 1.5-1.7 x 1.1-1.3 cm, rather thin, obpyramidal, deeply depressed apically and prominently costate on one side, slightly grooved on the other one; mature fruit and seed unknown. Germination adjacent-ligular, eophyll deeply bifid, late bifid leaves with petiole up to 40 cm long, channelled and winged proximally, covered with brown lepidote indument, sheath weakly angled, blade to 70 cm long, lobes connate in proximal 3/4, acute distally. Juveniles with keeled sheaths, channelled, angled and winged petioles, litter trapping.


Burretiokentia grandiflora grows in very wet forest (rainfall >3000 or 4000 mm per year) on deep, often humic soils overlaying peridotites or gabbros on well-drained slopes or wet depressions.


Burretiokentia grandiflora is only known from the upper Riviere Bleue valley in southern New Caledonia, from the banks of the river at 200 m elevation about to the ridge of Montagne des Sources at 900 m elevation.


Low risk, conservation-dependent (LRcd). Two populations of this species are known at 200 m and 900 m elevation on the same slope, each consisting of ca. 10 adults with juveniles and seedlings. Since exploration in nearby areas of similar forest resulted in no additional plants, it seems that Burretiokentia grandiflora occurs in extremely scattered, small groups, a pattern similar to the distribution of Lavoixia macrocarpa on Mont Panie. Contrary to Lavoixia though, B. grandiflora has normal regeneration. The species is adequately protected since its entire range is included in the Provincial Park of Riviere Bleue and the Reserve Naturelle Integrale of Montagne des Sources.

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
  • D All Rights Reserved
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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