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Aiphanes leiostachys
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Arecoideae
Tribe: Cocoseae
Subtribe: Bactridinae[2]
Genus: Aiphanes
Species: A. leiostachys
Binomial name
Aiphanes leiostachys

Aiphanes leiostachys is a species of palm that is endemic to Colombia. Known from only a few forest fragments in the Cordillera Central, it is threatened by habitat loss and forest management practices.



Aiphanes lindeniana is a small palm 3.5 to 5 metres (11 to 16 ft) tall with stems about 3 centimetres (1.2 in) in diameter, which are sparsely covered with slender spines up to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Individuals are usually multi-stemmed, with up to 10 stems, but occasionally are single-stemmed. Stems bear about 11 leaves which consists of a leaf sheath, a petiole and a rachis. Leaf sheaths, which wrap around the stem, are 18 cm (7 in) long and are densely covered with black spines up to 1 cm (0.39 in) long. Petioles are green, 14 to 16 cm (6 to 6 in) long, and are covered with spines up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long. Rachises are 102 to 108 cm (40 to 43 in) and covered with spines. Leaves each bear 17 to 20 pairs of leaflets which are arranged in three vertical rows.[3]

The male flowers, which are white with a purplish-brown corolla, are 1.5 to 2 millimetres (0.059 to 0.079 in) long. The female flowers are slightly larger—2.5 to 3 mm (0.098 to 0.12 in) long. The fruit have not been described.[3]


The species was first described by German botanist Max Burret in 1932, based on a collection made in 1880. Since the original collection was destroyed when the Berlin Herbarium was bombed during the Second World War, a neotype has been designated.[3]

Distribution and status

Aiphanes leiostachys is endemic to Colombia where it is known from only a few forest fragments in the Cordillera Central[1] in an area that has largely been deforested.[3] Given its limited range and the continuing pressures of forest conversion for agriculture and plantation forestry, it is classified as an endangered species.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Bernal, R. 1998. Aiphanes leiostachys. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 20 July 2007.
  2. ^ Asmussen, Conny B.; John Dransfield; Vinnie Deickmann; Anders S. Barfod; Jean-Christophe Pintaud; William J. Baker (2006). "A new subfamily classification of the palm family (Arecaceae): evidence from plastid DNA phylogeny". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 151 (1): 15–38. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2006.00521.x.  
  3. ^ a b c d Borchsenius, Finn; Rodrigo Bernal (December 1996). "Aiphanes (Palmae)". Flora Neotropica 70.  


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