Calamus barfodii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf., 2014

Baker, William J. & Dransfield, John, 2014, New rattans from New Guinea (Calamus, Arecaceae), Phytotaxa 163 (4), pp. 181-215 : 184-186

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.163.4.1

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scientific name

Calamus barfodii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf.


2. Calamus barfodii W.J.Baker & J.Dransf. , sp. nov. Type:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Central Province: Kuriva Forest Logging Area, Port Moresby Subdistrict , 50 m, 9°5'S, 147°7'E, 18 July 1979, Zieck NGF 36596 View Materials (holotype L!, isotype LAE!) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis:— Distinguished by its moderately slender stem with well developed, inflated, persistent, clasping ocreas and the rather short, erect to arching inflorescence that bears stout, inflated bracts, which split to the base by the emergence of very compact primary branching systems.

Moderately slender, clustering rattan climbing to 30 m. Stem with sheaths 8–16 mm diam., without sheaths 5.5–10 mm diam. Leaf ecirrate, to 72–78 cm long including petiole; sheath pale green, glaucous, with very thin, white to buff-coloured woolly indumentum, armed with numerous, short, triangular, solitary spines, spines 0.5–4 × 0.5–1.2 mm, spine tips sometimes dark, with caducous indumentum as sheath; knee 17–27 mm long, 10–15 mm wide, colour and armature as sheath; ocrea 9–17 × 1–2.7 cm, persistent, inflated, boat-shaped, split longitudinally to base on side opposite petiole insertion, clasping and usually obscuring sheath, tough, brown, dark purple when young, armed as sheath, apparently inhabited by ants; flagellum present, 90–140 cm long; petiole ca. 2–4 cm, 6–8 mm wide and 3–5 mm thick at base, flat to shallowly channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, with caducous indumentum as sheath, moderately to densely armed with spines as sheath and reflexed grapnel spines; rachis 60– 65 cm, armed as petiole; leaflets 23–26 each side of rachis, regularly arranged, narrowly linear lanceolate, longest leaflet at mid-leaf position, mid-leaf leaflets 19–26 × 1.5–2 cm, apical leaflets 3.5–10 × 0.3–1.3 cm, apical leaflet pair united up to one fifth of their length or not united, leaflets glabrous, scarcely armed, with very few dark bristles towards apex on adaxial surface of midrib and on margins, transverse veinlets conspicuous, closely spaced; Staminate inflorescence only fragments of dead inflorescence seen, branched to three orders, similar to pistillate inflorescence. Staminate flowers not seen. Pistillate inflorescence erect to arching, 40–59 cm long including 21– 40 cm peduncle, lacking flagelliform tip, branched to 2–3 orders; prophyll 21–28 × 0.6–1 cm, strictly tubular, opening slightly asymmetrically at apex and sometime splitting slightly, with caducous indumentum as sheath, sparsely to densely armed as ocrea; peduncular bracts absent, rachis bracts 3–15 × 0.8–1.7 cm, inflated, armed as ocrea, splitting to base or thereabouts by expansion of primary branches, with caducous indumentum as sheath; primary branches ca. 4, to 7 cm long, 5–8 cm apart, compact, with 10–25 rachillae; rachillae 4–13 mm × 1–1.3 mm, straight or curved, with caducous indumentum as sheath; rachilla bracts ca. 1 × 1.5 mm, subdistichous, closely adpressed to rachilla, very inconspicuous; proximal floral bracteole 1.8–2 mm diam., distal floral bracteole 1.6–2 mm, both bracteoles flat, scar from sterile staminate flower minute, elliptic. Pistillate flowers not seen. Sterile staminate flowers not seen. Fruit immature, ellipsoid, ca. 10 × 6 mm including beak 1.5 mm, with ca. 15 longitudinal rows of light brown to yellow scales. Seed not seen. ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

Distribution:— Known only from three records on the south side of the Owen Stanley Range in Central Province of Papua New Guinea, 40–100 km NW of Port Moresby.

Habitat:— Lowland to lower montane rain forest from 50 to 460 m above sea level.

Uses:— None recorded.

Vernacular names:— None recorded.

Specimens examined:— PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Central Province: near Bakoiudo (above Kubuna), Kairuku Subdistrict, 460 m, 8°37'S, 146°49'E, 14 January 1972, Zieck NGF 36320 View Materials ( BRI!, L!, LAE!); Kuriva Forest Logging Area GoogleMaps , Port Moresby Subdistrict , 50 m, 9°5'S, 147°7'E, 18 July 1979, Zieck NGF 36596 View Materials (holotype L!, isotype LAE!) GoogleMaps ; Kuriva , 300 m, 9°0'S, 147°7'E, 04 March 2000, Barfod 464 ( AAU, BRI, CANB, K!, LAE) GoogleMaps .

Notes: — Calamus barfodii ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ) displays a highly unusual combination of characters. It bears a well developed, inflated, persistent ocrea that clasps the stem, which resembles that displayed by Calamus longipinna Lauterb. & K.Schum. in Schumann & Lauterbach (1900: 203) and its relatives ( Baker & Dransfield 2002a) or two species in the paired fruit group ( Dransfield & Baker 2003: C. altiscandens Burret [1939: 196] and C. macrochlamys Beccari [1908: 259] ). However, it bears an inflorescence unlike any found in these taxa, which is rather short, erect to arching, and bears stout, inflated bracts that split to the base by the emergence of very compact primary branching systems. In New Guinea, similar inflorescence morphology is known only in Calamus anomalus Burret (1935: 320) , C. essigii Baker (2003: 720) , C. maturbongsii Baker & Dransfield (2003: 725) and C. nannostachys Burret (1931: 264) , none of which produce well-developed, inflated ocreas. The rachillae are also very short, bearing inconspicuous rachilla bracts and solitary rather than paired fruits. We have seen only pistillate material, but it is clear from these specimens that C. barfodii is one of the most distinctive of all the new species described here.

A fourth specimen (Zieck NGF 36187 View Materials [K!, L!]) from a nearby locality close to Tapini at around 1200 m is similar to C. barfodii , but bears a much shorter ocrea, longer spines on the ocrea and sheath, and irregular leaflets that are bristly, rather than almost glabrous. The duplicates seen by us are sterile and cannot be identified with confidence, but the gathering may represent further morphological dimensions of this species.

This species is named for Dr. Anders S. Barfod, palm biologist at Aarhus University, Denmark, who collected one of the specimens of C. barfodii and has contributed greatly to our knowledge of the New Guinea palm flora.


Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute


Queensland Herbarium


Addis Ababa University, Department of Biology


Australian National Botanic Gardens