The Hydriastele microspadix is a slender, clumping palm endemic to New Guinea that produces a compact crown of short leaves with clustered, somewhat fishtail-shaped leaflets.
This species belongs to the genus Hydriastele, a diverse and widespread genus of flowering plant in the palm family found throughout Australia and New Zealand, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Southeast Asia. It is named in Greek, combining the name “hydriad”, a water nymph in mythology, and the word for “column”.
The Hydriastele genus has a known natural range including a number of tropical settings in Sulawesi, the Maluku Islands, New Guinea, Australia, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Fiji, and Palau. This species is only found in New Guinea.
Very often they are found in rain forests of the montane and low lying varieties or upon ultrabasic rock, limestone ridges and serpentine faces.
There is one specimen from this species thriving in Merwin’s garden.
Want to virtually “explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
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