Laccosperma laeve

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: None known

Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b     View the UK and US zone maps

Laccosperma laeve Information

Clustered slender palm climbing to 10-13 m. Stems often branching, without sheaths to 16 mm in diameter, with ca. 20 mm; internodes 8-17 cm long. Leaf sheath moderately to sparsely armed with black-tipped, pale brown spines, spreading or lightly reflexed, upper sheaths near inflorescence more sparsely armed; black caducous indumentum present on mature leaf sheaths; ocrea 8-20 cm long, gradually tapering at the apex, pale straw-coloured without, shiny mid-brown within, armed as the sheath. Leaves up to 1.5 m; petiole on lower leaves up to 18 cm long by 0.8 cm wide, abaxially rounded, adaxially flattened, armed along the margins with angular, inequidistant black tipped, bulbous-based spines up to 1.3 cm long, spreading or reflexed; rachis up to 90 cm long, more commonly, 60 cm, distinctly trapezoid in cross section at the base, rounded in cross-section distally, armed as the petiole, spines decreasing in size distally and becoming regularly reflexed and increasingly bulbous-based; cirrus up to 70 cm long, more commonly 50-60 cm, armed as the rachis; leaflets composed of 2-4 folds, 10-12 pairs on each side of the rachis, inequidistant and unequal in size, usually subequidistant proximally and borne in loose pairs distally, sigmoid, 15-20 to 25-30 cm long by 3.5-6 to 8-10 cm broad at the widest point, ± concolourous with prominent transverse veinlets, margin unarmed; acanthophylls 2.5-2.8 cm long. Inflorescences, numbering 4-8 produced simultaneously in the distal to 30 cm of stem; peduncle ca. 8 cm long; prophyll ca. 3.5 cm; rachis bracts 1.5-2 cm long, gradually decreasing distally, tapering to form a short, triangular lobe, often tattering, finely longitudinally striate, closely adpressed to the bract above; rachillae 8-12 cm long, spreading, densely covered in imbricate longitudinally striate, rachillae bracts ± 3 mm long, each with a wide opening and 1 mm long apiculum. Flowers at anthesis, 6-8 mm by 2-3 mm; calyx tan-cream, 4-4.5 mm long, tubular in the basal 2.5-3 mm, with 3 longitudinally striate, 2 mm by 2-2.5 mm triangular lobes; corolla, tubular in the basal 0.8-1 mm only, with three valvate lobes, white or pale cream, longitudinally striate, 6-7.5 mm by 2-2.5 mm, with a broadly acuminate tip; stamen filaments dark brown, 3 mm by 1 mm, united into 1 mm long basal tube; anthers 3 mm by 1 mm; ovary ± 1 mm in diameter, stigma up to 4 mm long. Fruit at maturity, ovoid, 0.8-1 cm by 0.6-0.8 cm, with 14-18 rows of vertical scales. Seed smooth, ovoid, 0.6-0.8 cm long, 0.4-0.6 cm wide, ± 0.3 cm thick, flattened on one side, with light linear depression running from base to apex.

General Information:
This species, in common with, L. opacum is shade tolerant and is commonly found under a forest canopy. In fact, aside from on basaltic soils the two species often sympatric.


Native to, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast

Laccosperma laeve is distributed in the coastal forests from Liberia and the forest of Upper Guinea to Cameroon and south to Cabinda (Angola). However, there is a considerable disjunction from Ghana to Nigeria.

Location: Central Africa (0.928670°N, 9.755859°E)

Map may not represent the complete natural distribution. (Markers display observation data).
Laccosperma laeve Overlay Image ©2023 Trebrown - No re-distribution without permission.

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