Monday, July 30, 2012


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Iguana palm

Iguanura is a genus of twenty or so species of smallish palms confined to Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Sumatra. It is relatively unknown but some species are finding their way into specialist collections.

While trekking up a mountain near the east coast of Malaysia, we came across a population of this palm at about 300m elevation. The large undivided leaves stood up against a myriad of greenery that engulfed us.
This form of Iguanura wallichiana is one of the more ornamental variety known due to the large undivided leaves with reddish mid-rib. Young leaves are known to be pink. It has been given varietal name var major but some have decided to place it as a new species, I. spectabilis, altogether.

The origin of the name comes from its long infructescence which looked like the tail of an Iguana, or any lizard for that matter.

The plant appears to be rather specific in their demands - being found only above 300m or so as already said. The larger specimens were seen at shady clearings away from the darkest shadows of the canopy. The gently sloping ground suggest they would not like their feet wet, unlike their more aquatic relative I. tenuis.

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