Filed under Plants
Iriartea is a genus in the palm family Arecaceae, native to Central and South America. The best-known species is Iriartea deltoidea, which is found from Nicaragua south into Bolivia.
Stilt-rooted palm trees (Iriartea deltoidea). Photographed in the Rio Bigal Reserve, Amazon rainforest, Ecuador.
picture from http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/409119/enlarge
It is the most common tree in many forests in which it occurs.
These palms are canopy trees growing to 20–35 m tall. I. deltoidea is easily recognized by the prominent bulge in the center of its trunk, and the stilt roots, which form a dense cone up to 1 m in diameter at the base. The leaves are up to 5 m long, and pinnate. The numerous pinnae are fan-shaped, and held in various planes.
picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/naomikv/3833644386/
The Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica), the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. It is an extraordinary palm growing up to 30m tall.
Formerly the Coco de Mer was known as Maldive Coconut.
Until the true source of the nut was discovered in 1768, it was believed by many to grow on a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea. European nobles in the sixteenth century would often have the shells of these nuts polished and decorated with valuable jewels as collectibles for their private galleries. The Coco de Mer tree is now a rare and protected species.
It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male flowers are catkin-like, up to 1 m long. The mature fruit is 40–50 cm in diameter and weighs 15–30 kg, and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom. The fruit, which requires 6–7 years to mature and a further two years to germinate, is sometimes also referred to as the Sea Coconut, Bum Seed, double coconut, coco fesse, or Seychelles Nut.
The seeds are heavy and sink but empty seed shells will float, and for thousands of years Indian Ocean currents have taken them to the Maldives.
Legend has it that sailors who first saw the nut floating in the sea imagined that it resembled a woman’s disembodied buttocks.
The seeds are the largest and heaviest of any plant with a seed of 17.6kg and 50cm diameter having been recorded.
Erotic forms of coco de mer nuts, Praslin, from Seychelles.
Exotic nuts, familiar forms…