Dransfieldia W.J.Baker & Zona
  • Syst. Bot. 31: 61 (2006) 

Notes: Distribution: New Guinea

General Description

Small to moderate, clustering or solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious, understory tree palm. Stem erect, slender, ringed with prominent leaf scars. Leaves pinnate, few in the crown; sheath strictly tubular, forming a well-defined crownshaft, glabrous adaxially, abaxially with sparse to dense indumentum of brown-black irregular scales of various sizes and brown to white, matted, fibrous scales; petiole present, slender, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded, covered with indumentum as on the leaf sheath; rachis long, slender, adaxially forming a ridge, abaxially rounded, with indumentum as on the petiole; leaflets subopposite to alternate, arranged regularly, in one plane, single-fold, spreading, appearing corrugated due to the presence of conspicuous raised ridges on the adaxial surface of major veins, linear to narrowly elliptic, attenuating to a narrowly acute apex, sometimes with a few, widely separated, shallow indentations to one side of the apex, distal leaflets with apex acute and usually notched, apical leaflet pair not united at the base, with brown medifixed ramenta scattered on the abaxial surface of major veins and more numerous near the leaflet bases, with scales as on the rachis on both surfaces of leaflet base, minute white scales sparsely distributed persistent, though sometimes tattering or caducous, splitting apically or subapically by emerging inflorescence; peduncular bracts few, first peduncular bract similar to prophyll, but lacking keels, tubular, attached midway up peduncle, exserted from prophyll and enclosing inflorescence prior to expansion, splitting abaxially and distally on inflorescence expansion, typically caducous, though sometimes persistent and tattering, other peduncular bracts inconspicuous, triangular, incomplete; rachis shorter than peduncle, angled, tapering; rachis bracts low, rounded; primary branches several, spirally arranged; rachillae fleshy, tapering, usually bearing spirally arranged triads of flowers throughout, rarely pistillate flowers absent from triads throughout inflorescence; rachilla bracts inconspicuous; floral bracteoles low, rounded or truncate. Staminate flowers borne laterally toward the upper side of the pistillate flower in rounded indentations in the rachillae, symmetrical, bullet-shaped in bud, glabrous or with scattered scales as inflorescence; sepals 3, distinct, strongly imbricate, orbicular, spathulate, coriaceous, thickened abaxially, thinning towards margin, margins minutely ciliate; corolla united basally, corolla lobes 3, valvate, ovate, indurated; stamens numerous, up to 19, filaments awl-shaped, outer whorl irregularly inflexed in bud and basally adnate to the petals, inner whorl erect in bud, anthers ellipsoidal, dorsifixed, versatile, connective dark, dehiscence latrorse; pistillode trilobed or papilla-like. Pollen ellipsoidal slightly asymmetric, occasionally pyriform; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis ranging from 30–40 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers symmetrical, subglobose, glabrous or with scattered scales as inflorescence; sepals 3, distinct, strongly imbricate, closely resembling staminate sepals; petals 3, strongly imbricate, resembling sepals, but thinner and with acute apex; staminodes 3–4, shortly joined basally, truncate; gynoecium ovoid, symmetrical, pseudomonomerous, unilocular, uniovulate, stigmas 3, ovule located near base of gynoecium, laterally attached, ?campylotropous. Fruit ellipsoidal, stigmatic remains apical, perianth persistent and clasping; epicarp thin, smooth, mesocarp fibrous, endocarp circular in cross-section, closely adpressed to seed, comprising two layers of closely adhering fibres. Seed ellipsoidal with flattened base, surface smooth, hilum basal, raphe lateral, endosperm deeply ruminate, embryo basal. Germination adjacent ligular, eophyll bifid. Cytology not studied.

Diagnostic Description

Small to moderate, solitary or clustering pinnate-leaved palm from western New Guinea, with crownshaft, acute leaflets and inflorescence with the peduncular bract deciduous but the prophyll persistent.


Not studied.


Grows in lowland forests and forest on slopes and ridge tops, 10–180 m elevation. Palm growers have reported that the single species of this genus occurs in Papua New Guinea (Migliaccio 2001). We have seen no confirmation of this, and suspect that the origin of the seed source has been misinterpreted.


Restricted to far western Papua province in Indonesian New Guinea. Known from Waigeo Island in the Raja Ampat Archipelago, the Kepala Burung (Sorong and Bintuni Bay), the lower slopes of the Wondiwoi Mountains and the vicinity of Etna Bay.


Stems used for harpoons. Leaves used for thatch. Unspecified parts used for sewing thatch. The species is grown as an ornamental in the USA and Australia, but is not yet widely available in the horticultural trade.

Common Names

Ititohoho (Jamur), Kapis (Biak-Raja Ampat) and Tama’e (Wondama).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Tropical Papuasia New Guinea


  • 1 Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008

 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
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0
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
  • D See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm 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.