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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Calamoideae
Tribe: Calameae
Genus: Eremospatha
(G. Mann & H. Wendl.) H. Wendl.[1]

Eremospatha is a genus of climbing flowering plants in the palm family found in tropical Africa.[2] These rattans are uncommon in cultivation and poorly understood by taxonomists;. Closely related to Laccosperma, they are unique in the Calameae tribe by the near complete absence of bracts and bracteoles.[3] The name is from Greek meaning "without a spathe".


The slender, high-climbing trunks are naturally clustering and can reach up to 45 m in length. The pinnate leaves range from 30 cm to 2.5 m on short, armed petioles; the rachis, leaf margins and cirri are also armed with spines. They are hermaphroditic, with both male and female reproductive organs present in each flower. The pale blooms are fragrant and produce a red to brown, scaly fruit, each containing one to three seeds. [4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

These palms are native to the rain forest of west Africa, the Congo Basin, to Tanzania where they grow in swamps and alongside rivers.


Accepted species:[2][5]

  1. Eremospatha barendii Sunderl. - Cameroon
  2. Eremospatha cabrae (De Wild. & T.Durand) De Wild. - Zaire, Congo-Brazaville, Cabinda, Gabon, Central African Republic
  3. Eremospatha cuspidata (G.Mann & H.Wendl.) H.Wendl. - Zaire, Congo-Brazaville, Cabinda, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Central African Republic, Angola, Zambia
  4. Eremospatha dransfieldii Sunderl. - Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana
  5. Eremospatha haullevilleana De Wild. - Cameroon, Zaire, Congo-Brazaville, Cabinda, Gabon, Central African Republic, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania
  6. Eremospatha hookeri (G.Mann & H.Wendl.) H.Wendl. - Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo-Brazaville, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea
  7. Eremospatha laurentii De Wild. - Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire, Congo-Brazaville, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea
  8. Eremospatha macrocarpa Schaedtler - Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
  9. Eremospatha quinquecostulata Becc. - Nigeria, Cameroon
  10. Eremospatha tessmanniana Becc. - Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea
  11. Eremospatha wendlandiana Dammer ex Becc. - Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo-Brazaville, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Cabinda


  1. ^ H.A. Wendland, Kerchove de Denterghem, Les Palmiers 244. 1878
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Uhl, Natalie W. and Dransfield, John (1987) Genera Palmarum - A classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore. Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press. ISBN 0-935868-30-5 / ISBN 978-0-935868-30-2
  4. ^ Riffle, Robert L. and Craft, Paul (2003) An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms. Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-558-6 / ISBN 978-0-88192-558-6
  5. ^ Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

External links[edit]