Adonidia maturbongsii (manjek)
Adonidia maturbongsii is a solitary palm recently discovered on Biak Island in Indonesia and considered to be Endangered.
About this species
A solitary palm recently discovered on Biak Island in Indonesia, Adonidia maturbongsii is named in honour of Rudi Maturbongs (Universitas Negeri Papua), who collected the first herbarium specimens of the species, in recognition of his contributions to the study of palms in Biak.
Known locally as manjek, this palm was described by Kew scientist William Baker and Charlie Heatubun (Universitas Papua, Indonesia) in 2012.
Geography & Distribution
Adonidia maturbongsii is restricted to Biak Island (Papua, Indonesia), where it has been found at 80–170 m above sea level.
Adonidia maturbongsii fruits (Image: William Baker)
Overview: Solitary, mid-storey to emergent palm.
Stem: Brown with white blotches and prominent leaf scars, 10–15 m tall, 10–20 cm in diameter, tapering towards the apex.
Leaves: Forming a crown of about ten arching leaves. Sheath up to 70 cm long, pale, dull green forming crownshaft (conspicuous cylinder formed by tubular leaf sheaths at the top of the stem) up to 90 cm long. Petiole (leaf stalk) up to 45 cm long. Each leaf divided into 25–30 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are borne in a single plane and are broad and pendulous with wide concave tips.
Inflorescence: 60–70 cm long, branched to four orders, axes white, rubbery. Buds in triads (clusters of three), spirally arranged.
Male flowers: About 7 mm long with 30–32 stamens (male organs).
Female flowers: About 5 mm long with only a few, minute, tooth-like staminodes (sterile stamens). Gynoecium (female element) pear-shaped.
Fruits: About 3 cm long, ellipsoid, ripening through orange to red.
Seeds: About 2 cm long, ellipsoid.
Threats & Conservation
Adonidia maturbongsii is threatened by ongoing forest degradation. It is protected in the North Biak Nature Reserve.
The stem is used locally for flooring and pillars in traditional houses.
This species at Kew
Dried specimens of Adonidia maturbongsii are held in Kew’s Herbarium, where they are available to visitors from around the world, by appointment.
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