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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/24/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/24/2012)
Genus DESMONCUS Mart.
PlaceOfPublication Hist. Nat. Palm. 2:84. 1824.
Synonym Atitara Juss. in Dict. Sci. Nat. 3:277. 1804. Nomen rejiciendum.
Description Slender climbing or clambering pinnate-leaved monoecious palms supported by spine-like modified pinnae and sometimes by hooked prickles on rachis and under- surface of leaves; pinnae alternate or opposite or multiple, the rachis ending in one or more sets of nodal leaf-spines pointing backwards and that are often bulbous at base, the end of the leaf often long and tendril-like: spadices interfoliar, short, once-branched, covered by 2 cymbas of which the interior one is large and more or less persistent and spiniferous or hairy or both on the exterior: staminate flowers occupying the upper part or the ends of the slender simple rachillae, stamens 6, pistillode sometimes present, calyx minute; pistillate flowers mostly near base of rachilla but sometimes occupying nearly all of it and the plant per- haps functionally more or less dioecious, ovary 3-loculed, stigmas 3: fruit small, drupe-like although the exterior is scarcely fleshy, ovoid or subglobose, 1-seeded, with 3 pores; seed with homogeneous albumen.
Distribution Species 40-50, Mexico, Central America, West Indies, South America,
Note On bushes and often ascending tall trees. The hairy and spiny cymbas are often conspicuous as they hang. Undoubtedly more than one species of Desmoncus is in Panama, but collected specimens are too imperfect to allow of determination. D. chinantlensis Liebm. of Mexico has been suggested as the name of one of the Panama collections, but this disposition is at least doubtful.
 
 
 
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