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Hapaxanthy and pleonanthy in African rattans (Palmae: Calamoideae)

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image of Journal of Bamboo and Rattan

Hapaxanthy, and its alternative state, pleonanthy, are terms that have long been used to differentiate the flowering behaviour in palms. Despite the fact that hapaxanthy and pleonanthy have recently been reviewed [1-3], there has persisted some confusion regarding the inflorescence structure and life form of the rattans of Africa. Recent field observations have provided further information with regard to the flowering behaviour of the African rattans and have confirmed the hapaxanthic nature of Laccosperma and the pleonanthic nature of Eremospatha and the sole representative of Calamus in Africa, C. deërratus. The genus Oncocalamus, long recorded as being hapaxanthic, is now known to be pleonanthic. Basic knowledge of the life form of economically valuable plants such as rattan is essential if rational decisions are to be made about their long-term management and sustainable utilisation.


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