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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Arecaceae | Rhapis

1. Rhapis excelsa (Thunberg) A. Henry in Rehder, J. Arnold Arbor. 11: 153. 1930.

棕竹 zong zhu

Chamaerops excelsa Thunberg in Murray, Syst. Veg., ed. 14, 984. 1784; Rhapis aspera W. H. Baxter; R. cordata W. H. Baxter; R. divaricata Gagnepain; R. flabelliformis L’Héritier; R. kwamwonzick Siebold ex Rodigas; R. major Blume; Trachycarpus excelsus (Thunberg) H. Wendland.

Stems clustered, rhizomatous, forming large, loose colonies, to 3 m tall, to 1.5 cm in diam., covered with persistent, fibrous leaf sheaths. Leaf sheaths with coarse, black fibers producing a square mesh; ligules not persistent; blades not split to base, divided into 2-13 segments, these with ± straight sides and jagged apices, to 40 × 7 cm, outermost narrowest. Inflorescences borne among leaves, branched to 2 or 3 orders; bracts tubular, sheathing; rachis to 26 cm; rachillae to 11 cm, glabrous; male flowers to 6 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 keeled adaxially; female flowers similar to but shorter than male. Fruits developing from 1 carpel, yellow, globose to ellipsoid, to 1 × 0.8 cm.

Scattered localities in lowland forests or dry forests, on slopes; below 1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan [Thailand (?introduced), Vietnam].

The stems are used for chopsticks and walking sticks. This species is widely planted as an ornamental and has been introduced in Japan.


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