Nipah palm Nypa fruticans, copyright Tony Rodd.

Belongs within: Commelinidae.
Contains: Arecoideae, Coryphoideae, Calamoideae.

The Arecaceae, palms, are a group of mostly tropical and subtropical woody plants with large divided leaves. Most palms grow as an erect (usually unbranched) tree, but exceptions exist. In the nipa palm Nypa fruticans, found in mangrove habitats of the tropical Indo-Pacific region, the stem (which may be branching) grows lying on the substrate and only the leaves and flower stalks extend upwards. Fruits similar to those of Nypa are known from the fossil record going back to the Lower Paleocene. Foliage of palms is also known from the Cretaceous with Eolirion primigenium from the Lower Cretaceous of Austria representing the earliest record of the family (Collinson et al. 2003). Other basal genera of Arecaceae include Trithrinax, the caranday palms of subtropical South America, which retain old leaf sheaths as a persistent spiny coat around the stem. The ivory palms Phytelephas of northwestern South America produce seeds with a very hard white endosperm resembling ivory. The Ceroxyloideae are a primarily South American group with inflorescences accompanied by a protective prophyll and peduncular bracts.

Characters (from Healy & Edgar 1980): Usually arborescent, stout (and mostly unbranched) to slender, sometimes scandent and shrubby; usually monoecious, occasionally dioecious or bisexual. Leaves usually in terminal crowns, often very large, pinnate or palmate; leaflets narrow. Inflorescence usually paniculate, below or amongst leaves; spathes one or more, usually large. Flowers small, actinomorphic, more or less sessile, commonly unisexual, males and females sometimes in one inflorescence; sepals 3, free or connate; petals 3, free or connate. Stamens usually 6 in two whorls; anthers two-celled, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, 1-3-celled or 3 carpels separate; ovule usually solitary. Fruit a berry or drupe.

<==Arecaceae [Areciflorae, Palmaceae, Palmae, Palmales, Principes]
    |--Trithrinax acanthocoma DS04
    |--+--Phytelephas aequatorialis DS04
    |  `--Arecoideae DS04
    `--+--Coryphoideae DS04
       |--Nypoideae [Nypaceae] CBH93
       |    |--Spinizonocolpites baculatus CBH93
       |    `--Nypa fruticans DS04
       |         |--N. f. var. fruticans H09
       |         `--N. f. var. neameana H09
       `--+--Plectocomia elongata DS04
          `--Calamoideae DS04

Arecaceae incertae sedis:
  Elaeis PJ02
    |--E. guineensis PJ02
    `--E. oleifera MS10
  Calyptrogyne L2001
  Metroxylon K03
    |--M. rumphii M72
    |--M. sagu K03 [incl. Sagus genuina L1801]
    `--M. salmonense Z93
  Plectocomiopsis geminiflora K03
  Veitchia H03
  Pritchardia remota O94
  Pelagodoxeae TB08
    |--Sommieria TB08
    `--Pelagodoxa H03
  Manicaria saccifera H03, O49
  Orbygnya DS86
  Scheclea DS86
  Geonoma BBB03
    |--G. cuneata BBB03
    `--G. irena BBB03
  Hyospathe DS86
  Lepidocaryoideae CBH93
    |--Lepidocaryum DS86
    |--Monocolpites franciscoi Muller 1970 CBH93
    `--Dicolpopollis CBH93
         |--D. elegans Muller 1979 CBH93
         `--D. malesianus Muller 1979 CBH93
  Astrocaryum jauari DS86
  Maximiliana DS86
  Desmoncus DS86
  Mauritia flexuosa DS86
  Acanthococos YY22
  Acanthophoenix YY22
  Acrocomia F11
    |--A. aculeata F11
    |--A. mexicana G69
    `--A. totai F11
  Actinokentia YY22
  Adelodypsis YY22
  Aeris YY22
  Asterogyne YY22
  Barbosa YY22
  Barcella YY22
  Calyptronoma YY22
  Catoblastus YY22
  Cocops YY22
  Cyphokentia YY22
  Cyphophoenix YY22
  Didymosperma YY22
  Diplothemium YY22
  Gigliolia YY22
  Haplodypsis YY22
  Haplophloga YY22
  Howea B00
    |--H. belmoreana B00
    `--H. forsterana P82
  Hyophorbe lagenicaulis Z93
  Juania YY22
  Jubaea YY22
  Kentiopsis YY22
  Kunthia YY22
  Linospadix YY22
  Leopoldinia YY22
  Martinezia YY22
  Mischophloeus YY22
  Neodypsis decaryi Z93
  Nephrocarpus YY22
  Oncocalamus YY22
  Oreodoxa YY22
  Phloga [incl. Neophloga] Z03
    `--P. nodifera Z93
  Phlogella YY22
  Podococcus YY22
  Pseudophoenix sargentii OB11
  Ptychoraphis YY22
  Ptychandra YY22
  Sclerosperma YY22
  Trichodypsis YY22
  Vershaffeltia YY22
  Vonitra YY22
  Wallichia YY22
  Welfia YY22
  Ancistrophyllum YY22
  Ceratolobus YY22
  Coleococcus YY22
  Nannorhops YY22
  Cyclospathe YY22
  Eugeissona P88
    |--E. insignis P88
    |--E. tristis P88
    `--E. utilis K03
  Kinetostigma YY22
  Lodoicea seychellarum YY22, C55
  Pholidocarpus YY22
  Ravenia YY22
  Solfia YY22
  Wendlandiella YY22
  Acanthorhiza YY22
  Rhapidophyllum YY22
  Rhapis YY22
  Trachycarpus fortunei (Hooker) Wendland 1862 HE80 [incl. Chamoerops excelsa (l. c.) LO98]
  Zalacca YY22
  Sabal BBB03
    |--S. bermudana WM14
    |--S. megacarpa BTA75
    |--S. minor I-BH-O10
    |--S. palmetto BBB03
    `--S. texana MG56
  Roystonea SK02
    |--R. borinquena SWK87
    |--R. hispaniolana HSS13
    |--R. princeps (Becc.) Burret 1929 CD07
    `--R. regia SK02
  Oraniopsis appendiculata E99
  Rhopalostylis Wendl. & Drude 1875 [=Eora Cook 1927] ME70
    |--R. baueri Wendl. & Drude 1875 ME70 [=Areca baueri Hook.f. 1868 C06, Kentia baueri C06]
    |--R. cheesemanii Becc. 1917 ME70
    `--R. sapida Wendl. & Drude in Kerch. 1878 ME70 [=Areca sapida C06, Kentia sapida C06]
  Ceroxyloideae HB09
    |--Synechanthus fibrosus Z03
    `--Ceroxylon [Ceroxyleae] HB09
         `--C. quindiuense HSS13
  Coccothrinax montana J87
  Washingtonia M93
    |--W. filifera M93
    `--W. robusta K10
  Pigafetta filaris M82
  Inodes mexicana G69
  Sabalites Saporta 1865 HL08
    `--‘Flabellaria’ major Unger 1847 (see below for synonymy) HL08
  Phoenicites Brongniart 1828 HL08
  Musophyllum axonense Watelet 1866 HL08
  Chrysalidocarpus Z93
    |--C. lutescens Z93
    `--C. madagascariensis Z93
  Aphanes caryotifolia Z93
  Carpentaria acuminata Z93
  Wodyetia bifurcata Z93
  Hedyscepe canterburyana B00
  Butia yatay F11
  Scheelea F11
    |--S. cephalotes F11
    `--S. princeps F11
  Eolirion primigenium Schenk 1869 CBH93
  Pilophora Jacq. 1802 KC01

‘Flabellaria’ major Unger 1847 [=Sabal major (Unger) Heer 1855; incl. S. (Flabellaria) haeringiana] HL08

*Type species of generic name indicated


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Last updated: 21 December 2019.

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