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Genus Howea Family Arecaceae

Description: Graceful palms with pinnate leaves. Crownshaft not developed.

Leaf sheaths fibrous. Inflorescences spicate, borne in axils of lowest leaves and maturing after the leaves have eventually fallen; prophyll fibrous, short; penduncular bract pendulous, cylindrical, much larger than prophyll.

Flowers immersed in spike, in groups of 3, 2 staminate with 1 pistillate between, which develops later. Male flowers: sepals 3; petals 3, coriaceous, projecting c. 1 cm; stamens 30–100, with basifixed anthers; pistillode absent or very small. Female flowers: sepals 3; petals 3, half projecting; staminodes tooth-shaped; ovary ovoid-ellipsoidal; stigma 3-lobed, ┬▒sessile.

Fruit a drupe, ovoid-ellipsoidal to ellipsoidal.


Habit
Photo S. Goodwin

Distribution and occurrence: A genus of 2 species endemic to Lord Howe Island.

The two species form the mainstay of the Island's palm seed industry, although most of the trade is now from newly germinated seedlings.

Text by P.S. Green (1994)
Taxon concept: P.S. Green (1994)

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Howea belmoreana,    Howea forsteriana


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