Solitary, sub-canopy to canopy palm. Trunk 10-18 m tall, 12-17 cm dbh, prominently ringed. Leaves 12-17, borne in five ranks, erect to ascending and finally spreading, straight or twisted laterally, expanding red; sheath 60-80 cm long, cylindric to bulbous, 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 3/4 opposite petiole and terminating on petiole in two fibrous, chartaceous, prominent rings: petiole 15-35 cm long, winged at least in proximal half or up to rachis base, adaxially channelled, glabrous, abaxially angled, initially white or grey-tomentose, aging puncticulate; rachis 2.20-2.90 m long; pinnae 35-45 on each side of rachis, borne in one plane, median ones 80-110 x 5-8.5 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 abaxially, midrib prominent adaxially, bearing sparse brown scales, midrib very prominent abaxially, bearing brown-centered, white-margined scales, 2-8 secondary nerves scarcely prominent, scales more abundant proximally. Inflorescences 1-4, infrafoliar, drooping, protandrous, 40-60 cm long, cream-colored to pink becoming pale green when exposed, branched to 3 orders; peduncle 4-8 cm long, 3-5.5 cm wide and 2-3 cm thick distally, covered proximally up to attachment of 3rd peduncular bract with dense white tomentum, glabrous distally; prophyll 25-40 x 10-15 cm, inserted 2-3.5 cm above peduncular base, bicarinate, bifid, chartaceous, incompletely encircling peduncle at insertion abaxially, splitting to 1/4*2/5 its length on opposite side, abaxially pale green with white-floccose tomentum, adaxially bright pink, glabrous; first peduncular bract 40-70 x 10-15 cm, oval-elongate, acuminate, chartaceous to woody, to 2 mm thick, completely encircling peduncle at insertion, inserted 1-2 cm above prophyll and exceeding it by 1/3-1/2, color and indumenta same as prophyll, second peduncular bract very prominent, to 30 x 15 cm, acute or bitrifid or truncate, sparsely tomentose abaxially, ciliate marginally, glabrous adaxially. third peduncular bract to 9 x 4.5 cm, shape and indumenta same as second one; rachis 12-19 cm long. main branches 6-8, 3-5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, second order branches 0.5-1.5 cm long, all branches angled, glabrous; bracts subtending lower main branches prominent, 5-25 cm long, 3-6 cm wide at base, triangular-subulate or 2-3-fid, tomentose abaxially, subsequent bracts 0.5-6 x 1.5-3.5 cm, triangular-acuminate or enlarged basally and abruptly subulate, glabrescent; rachillae 20-30, 20-45 cm long, 0.5-1 cm diam., straight, rounded, glabrous except in triad clefts. Flowers in triads in proximal 2/3 to 4/5 of rachillae, only paired or solitary staminate flowers distally, triads closely arranged in 3 spiralling rows, disposed in horizontal elliptic clefts 6-7 mm long, 4-5 mm high, 3 mm deep, distal wall of cleft pubescent; bract subtending triads prominent, broadly rounded, sharp-edged, glabrous; outermost bracteole 3.5-4.5 x 1 mm, collarlike, next 2 bracteoles surrounding pistillate flower 4-5 x 3-3.5 mm, subequal, sepallike, cupped; margins of bracteoles, sepals, and petals fringed with minute, whitish hairs 0.25 mm long; pedicels of staminate flowers 0.5-0.9 mm high, flattened, densely fringed with whitish hairs distally; staminate flowers in bud 6 x 4 mm, bullet-shaped, at anthesis contiguous, 11 x 11 mm; calyx 2.5-3 x 5 mm, cuplike, sepals imbricate nearly to apex, concave adaxially, prominently keeled abaxially, margins rounded; petals 6.5-7 x 3.5-4 mm, ovate, much exceeding sepals, valvate, spreading apically, acute, connate in basal 1/6, lightly grooved adaxially, ± pulvinate, striated abaxially when dry; stamens 6, 8 mm high, conspicuously exceeding petals, erect to spreading, filaments 7 mm long, flattened-columnar, inflexed apically, connate basally in a 0.5 mm high ring and adnate to petals and pistillode to form a 2.75 mm high base, anthers 2.75-3 mm long, dorsifixed slightly below middle, locules briefly united by a central connective, each with a sterile, tanniniferous median part marked with included raphides; pistillode short, 2.5 mm high, broadly conic; pistillate flowers 7 x 5 mm, ovoid; calyx 4.5 x 4-5 mm, cuplike. sepals cupped, imbricate nearly to apex, broadly rounded or truncate, fringed; petals 6 x 3.5-4 mm, equaling pistil, cupped, imbricate except valvate tips, thin; staminodes 3, within 1 petal, 1 mm long, triangular; pistil 6 x 3 mm, ovoid, stigma trifid, lobes small, ± blunt, rough, erect to slightly recurved, ovule pendulous. Fruits 16 x 10.5 mm, oval, immature whitish-green becoming pink and finally dark purple at maturity, perianth 5 mm high, stigmatic remains subapical, epicarp smooth, mesocarp 1.25-1.5 mm thick, grainy with numerous tann in cells and few, short longitudinal fibers, endocarp thin, crustaceous, sculptured and costate, with a band of fibers adherent to costa, operculate; seeds 11 x 7 mm, deeply sculptured and longitudinally with a prominent costa running the length of the seed; endosperm homogeneous, embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular, eophyll deeply bifid; seedlings and juveniles like those of B. dumasii.
PHENOLOGY: Flowering of Burretiokentia koghiensis is very seasonal. Anthesis occurs August-October and fruits mature in December-January. Plants are sterile February-April, the first inflorescences appearing in May but the flowers remaining in bud until September. The thick first peduncular bract often does not open before anthesis, suggesting self-pollination can occur. Bees visit exposed flowers.
Vulnerable. Burretiokentia koghiensis is known from a single location in an area -4 x 0.5-1 km. Despite its restricted range, it is abundant where it occurs and regeneration is good. However, the status of the location is very complex since several parties, including private and governmental entities, own and/or manage portions of the land. In recent years, forest fires on Mont Koghi and in the Thy River valley and land clearing where B. koghiensis reaches its highest density on private properties have demonstrated that the site is not adequately protected. The forest was selectively logged half a century ago but this did not affect the palm populations.