Acanthophoenix Rubra Palm


The Barbel palm (Acanthophoenix rubra) is a critically endangered palm endemic to Mauritius, Rodrigues, and La Reunion that is prized for its edible palm hearts.

It is also known as the red- or yellow- Barbel palm, red palm, Mascarene Islands cabbage palm, and palmiste rouge, palmiste bourre, palmiste des bois, palmiste des hauts, palmiste épineux, palmiste zépines, palmiste piquant in French.[1]

This palm was first described as Areca rubra by French naturalist Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent in 1804 and classified by German botanist Hermann Wendland in its own genus Acanthophoenix in 1867. It can reach a height of 12 m. The trunk is slender, with a diameter of 18 cm. The crown contents of about 10 leaves approximately 3 m in size which are arranged convoluted.

In his 1995 checklist of seed plants, Rafaël Govaerts considered A. crinita to be a synonym of Acanthophoenix rubra, as did Govaerts and John Dransfield in their 2005 checklist of palms. However, in his revision of the genus, N. Ludwig recognised A. crinita as a separate species.


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