Species Author: (Brongn.) Vieill. ex Becc.
Vernacular: Blond Flame Thrower Palm, Yellow Flame Thrower Palm, Red Feather Palm, Red Leaf Palm, Blushing Palm
Kentiopsis macrocarpa Brongn.
Chambeyronia macrocarpa grows to 15 m tall and is found in the understory of rainforest. The solitary stem has rings at regular intervals along it, which are the scars left where leaves were attached that have now fallen. This species gets its common name from the bright red new leaves that can remain red in color for up to 10 days. The leaves are spirally arranged on the stem and are pinnately compound meaning that the leaf is divided into many leaflets that are arranged along the length of the midvein or rachis of the leaf. The leaves are up to 4 m long and have a stalk that can be up to 45 cm long. Each leaf is made up to 37-40 leaflets that can be up to 1.5 m long and 7.3 cm wide. The branched inflorescence is produced at the base of the crownshaft and can be up to 50 cm long. This palm species is monoecious meaning that separate staminate (pollen producing) and pistillate (ovule producing) flowers are produced and are often arranged in groups of three containing two staminate and one pistillate flowers. The staminate flowers mature first and after the pollen has been shed the female flowers mature. Staminate flowers are cream-pink in color, contain 40-48 stamens, and are fragrant. Pistillate flowers are white and contain an undivided ovary with a single ovule. The crimson fruit is more or less round in shape and is 4.6 cm long.
(Moore, H.E. and N.W. Uhl. 1984. The indigenous palms of New Caledonia. Allertonia 3(5): 313-402.)
Chambeyronia macrocarpa is endemic to New Caledonia where it is found in wet forests below 800 m in elevation. This is one of two Chambeyronia species in New Caledonia; the other, Chambeyronia lepidota, is found in northeastern New Caledonia. Thirty-two palm species are found in New Caledonia. The Palm family contains 195 species with a distribution in the humid tropics and subtropics.
(Jaffre, T. and J.M. Veillon. 1989. Morphology, distribution and ecology of palms in New Caledonia, pp 158-168 in J.L. Dowe (ed.). Palms of the South West Pacific. Publication Fund, Palm and Cycas Society, Australia.)
ADD Pintaud & Hodel, Palms of New Caledonia.
(Stevens, P. F. (2001+). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 7, May 2007 [updated 05/28/2007]. www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/.)
Another New Caledonian palm species, Chambeyronia lepidota, is included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, this species is considered to be at a “Low Risk” for extinction but “conservation dependent” meaning that the ongoing survival of the species is dependent on the ongoing efforts to maintain the habitat and known populations of the species. It is considered that if these programs were discontinued the persistence of this species would be threatened.
(Jaffré, T. et al. 1998. Chambeyronia lepidota. In: IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 15 August 2007.)
Palms do not produce wood and therefore no annual rings are available, which makes it difficult to determine the age of palm trees. A method of determining the age of palm trees that has been widely used calculates tree age based on the number of leaves in the crown, the number of leaf scars on the trunk, and the time between opening of successive leaves.
In order to calculate tree age it was assumed, based on limited data, that the number of developing leaves in the bud was the same as the number of mature leaves on a tree and that the rate of leaf expansion was constant. Further research on a wide range of palm species indicates that leaf expansion is affected by rainfall, herbivory, and natural disturbance and that the number of developing leaves in the bud can be greater or less than the number of mature leaves. For this reason the model of palm growth used to determine the age of palm trees may not be applicable across a large number of palm species.
(Dalrymple, N.K. and J.B. Fisher. 1994. The relationship between the number of expanded and developing leaves in shoot apices of palms. American Journal of Botany 81(12) 1576-1581.)
We currently have 3 herbarium specimens for Chambeyronia macrocarpa in our collection. Click on any specimen below to view the herbarium sheet data.
- Unassigned - collected by K. R. Wood in 1998
- S061866 - collected by Tim Flynn in 2009
- S061867 - collected by Tim Flynn in 2009