Joinvillea ascendens

buden01.jpg (17392 bytes)

buden02fruit.jpg (20256 bytes)buden03leafdetail.jpg (12552 bytes)buden04scale.jpg (25073 bytes)

288 kb image of plant

Family: Joinvilleaceae

This plant was found at about 2100' along a stream on the slopes of Dolen Uhd, Kitti, Pohnpei, by Mr. Richard Waltu and Dr. Don Buden.  Mr. Waltu said he had not seen this plant before.  The plant was found during field trip in mid-December 2000.  The plant stands on the order of three and half meters (ten to twelve feet) tall.  The leaves are distinctly corrugated, like those of some young palms.  Don's impression of the plant in the field was of a ginger-like plant.  The stem is quite grass-like. The fruit is spherical and green as seen above.

My thanks to David Lorence for responding with an identification in less than a couple hours of the page being posted to the Internet!  The flora list I have lists the plant at: "Flagellariaceae Joinvillea ascendans" but the University of Hawaii puts the plant in Commelinidae under Joinvilleaceae   The herbarium originally followed the University of Wisconsin's online herbarium in structure, but lately I have been following the structure at the University of Hawaii.

From:David H. Lorence
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 1:24 PM
Subject: Re: Unknown plant 2263

Dear Dana,

The digital images of the plant are quite good and I had no trouble in identifying it as a species of Joinvillea. Several subspecies are recognized in the Pacific. The checklist of Micronesian Monocots by Fosberg, Sachet & Oliver (1987) lists Joinvillea ascendens Gaud. ex Brongn. & Gris. subsp. borneensis (Becc.) Newell as occurring on Pohnpei, and I have no doubt that this is your plant. In Micronesia, Pohnpei is apparently the only island where Joinvillea occurs, so this is a very interesting find. Is it rare and localized? Another subspecies, J. ascendens subsp. ascendens occurs in Hawaii on several of the main islands, where it is quite rare and considered as a candidate for listing as an endangered species.

Best wishes and aloha,


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