Hedyscepe H.Wendl. & Drude
  • Linnaea 39: 178 (1875) 

Notes: Distribution: Lord Howe I.

General Description

Solitary, moderate, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem rather stout, conspicuously ringed with narrow, raised, whitish leaf scars. Leaves pinnate, stiff, arching; sheath forming a prominent crownshaft, thick, striate, densely covered with white wax and scattered small brown scales; petiole very short, stout, adaxially grooved, abaxially rounded; leaflets subopposite, rather short, lanceolate, pointed, proximal and distal leaflets distinctly narrower and shorter, stiff, ±erect, single-fold, adaxially glabrous, abaxially tomentose along the margins and scaly along the ribs on both surfaces, midrib and 3 pairs of veins raised adaxially, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences solitary, infrafoliar, ?protandrous, branched to 1(–3) orders; peduncle short, ± flat, stout, horizontal; prophyll tubular, dorsiventally flattened, pointed but not tapering, with 2 flat lateral keels, chartaceous, deciduous; peduncular bract like the prophyll but not keeled, also caducous; ca. 3 wide ridge-like bracts above the peduncular bract; rachis rather short but longer than the peduncle, bearing low, pointed, spirally arranged bracts subtending rachillae; rachillae divaricate, stout, bearing triads of flowers nearly throughout, distally with a few pairs and single staminate flowers; floral bracteoles, low, pointed. Staminate flowers asymmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, slightly imbricate and bulbous or connate basally, narrow, elongate, widely separated, tapering distally, keeled; petals 3, distinct, variously angled, valvate; stamens 9–10 (–12 according to J.D. Hooker [1883]) in 2 series, antesepalous stamens solitary, antepetalous stamens paired, filaments awl-shaped, markedly inflexed at the apex in bud, anthers erect in bud, large, variously curved, linear, emarginate apically, bifid basally, latrorse, connective elongate, tanniniferous; pistillode with a rounded ovarian part and long terete style about as high as the stamens. Pollen grains ellipsoidal, slight asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis ranging from 55–60 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers symmetrical, ovoid; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, rounded; petals 3, distinct, imbricate with briefly valvate apices; staminodes 3, small, tooth-like, (?)borne on one side of the gynoecium; gynoecium unilocular, uniovulate, ovoid with 3 recurved stigmas, ovule laterally attached, form unknown. Fruit broadly ellipsoidal, deep dull red when ripe, stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, mesocarp with a prominent layer of longitudinal, slender fibres over parenchyma and dispersed tannin cells and flat, long fibres adherent to the endocarp, endocarp crustaceous, thin, fragile, not operculate. Seed laterally attached by a broad elongate hilum, raphe branches numerous, anastomosing, endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology not studied.

Diagnostic Description

Moderate, solitary pinnate-leaved palm endemic to Lord Howe Island, with a conspicuous white crownshaft.


Root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b) and fruit (Essig andHernandez 2002).


Found on high cliffs above the sea, mostcommon on the more exposed ridges at 600–750 m elevation.


One species endemic to LordHowe Island.


Occasionally cultivated.

Common Names

Big mountain palm, canterbury umbrella palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Australasia Australia Norfolk Is.


  • 1 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 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.