Chuniophoenix Burret
  • Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 580 (1937) 

Notes: Distribution: Hainan to N. Vietnam

General Description

Small, clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic, hermaphroditic or occasionally polygamo-dioecious palms. Stem slender to moderate, erect, ringed with leaf scars. Leaves induplicate, palmate, apparently marcescent; sheath tubular at first, later splitting opposite the petiole, in Chuniophoenix hainanensis with a triangular cleft at the base of the petiole, usually covered with floccose indumentum; petiole well developed, grooved, margins smooth; hastulae absent; blade irregularly divided almost to the base into single- to several-fold segments with entire or shallowly toothed apices, segments thin, with prominent ad- and abaxial ribs, and sparse floccose indumentum, blade margins decurrent on petiole, midribs prominent abaxially, transverse veinlets abundant. Inflorescences among the leaves, spicate or with up to 2 orders of branching; peduncle well developed, adnate at the base to the internode above the subtending node; prophyll short, persistent, tubular, 2-keeled; peduncular bracts several, persistent, tubular, tightly sheathing, distant; rachis (where present) shorter to much longer than the peduncle; rachis bracts like the peduncular; rachillae erect or spreading, bearing ± imbricate, ± spirally arranged, persistent, tubular bracts with short triangular limbs, each subtending a flower group. Flowers solitary or arranged in a condensed cincinnus of 1–7 flowers, each flower in turn exserted from the rachilla bract on a columnar pedicel, and bearing a 2-keeled tubular (later splitting) bracteole; calyx tubular, somewhat chaffy, shallowly 2–3-lobed, tending to split irregularly in the distal part; corolla with a long stalk-like base and 3 triangular, valvate, later reflexed, fleshy lobes; stamens 6, the antesepalous free, the antepetalous adnate to the base of the petals, filaments elongate, fleshy, the antepetalous ones much wider basally than those opposite the sepals, anthers oval to oblong, introrse; gynoecium tricarpellate, ovary somewhat stalked, elongate, with septal nectaries at the base, style 3-grooved, elongate, trifid at the tip, the stigmas somewhat divergent, ovules anatropous (very rarely 2 present in 1 carpel — ?as a monstrosity), attached to the inner carpel wall at the base; ovary or pollen aborting in polygamodioecious individuals. Pollen ellipsoidal, with slight to obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate, perforate and micro-channelled, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 33–45 µm; post-meiotic tetrads tetrahedral [2/2]. Fruit small, ± rounded, 1-seeded, green when immature, scarlet when ripe, with apical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, lustrous, or somewhat pebbled on drying, mesocarp fleshy, endocarp thin. Seed irregularly globose, basally attached with short hilum, grooved along raphe, and with sparse anastomosing grooves corresponding to the raphe branches, endosperm ruminate or homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination remote-ligular (Chavez 2003); eophyll entire. Cytology: 2n = 36.

Diagnostic Description

Small clustering palms of southern China and northern Vietnam, distinctive in the leaf lacking a hastula and the tubular membranous rachilla bracts.


Root (Seubert 1997).


Undergrowth palms in forest.


Three species occurring in Vietnam, south China, and Hainan Island.


Uses not recorded but certainly desirable ornamentals.

Common Names

Common names not recorded.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Temperate China Hainan
  • Asia-Tropical Indo-China Vietnam


  • 1 Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • 2 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 3 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 4 Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne.

 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
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