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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Arecaceae | Rhapis

Rhapis humilis Bl.


Description from Flora of China

Chamaerops excelsa Thunberg var. humilior Thunberg; C. sirotsik H. Wendland; Licuala waraguh Blume; L. wixu Blume; Rhapis javanica Blume; R. sirotsik H. Wendland.

Stems clustered, rhizomatous, forming large, loose colonies, to 6 m tall, to 3 cm in diam., covered with persistent, fibrous leaf sheaths. Leaf sheaths with narrow, brown fibers producing a square mesh; ligules persistent; blades not split to base, divided into 7-20 segments, these with curved sides and ± pointed apices, to 45 × 2 cm, outermost narrowest. Inflorescences borne among leaves, branched to 3 orders; bracts tubular, sheathing; rachis to 40 cm; rachillae to 17 cm, brown tomentose; male flowers to 7 mm; sepals united into a tubular, 3-lobed calyx; petals united into a tubular corolla with a 3-lobed, valvate apex; stamens 6, borne in 2 series; filaments not keeled adaxially; female flowers similar to but shorter than male. Fruits ovoid, to 0.7 cm in diam. Seeds ovoid, to 4.5 mm.

This species is widely planted as an ornamental and has been introduced in Indonesia (Java) and Japan. One of us (Henderson) suggests that Rhapis humilis might prove to be just a cultivar of R. excelsa.

● Lowland dry forests on slopes; below 1000 m. Guangxi, Guizhou.


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