Syn.: Phoenicophorium melanochaetes H. Wendl., Verschaffeltia melanochaetes H. Wendl.
Family: Arecaceae Bercht. et J. Presl
Roscheria melanochaetes
Distribution: The rarest endemic species of Seychellan palms, belongs to monotypic genus. It is known only from higher inner granitic islands of Seychelles archipelago (Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette). This genus is closely related to three endemic Seychellan palm genera Nephrosperma, Phoenicophorium and Verschaffeltia.
Ecology: This palm grows in small groups in moist evergreen forests at intermediate to higher altitudes between (350–)500–900 m a. s. l. It prefers shaded places in forest under-storey, where is wider fluctuation in temperature and humidity during the year as well as higher difference between diurnal and nocturnal temperature.
Roscheria melanochaetes
Description: Smaller, very slender monoecious palm up to 8 m; trunk is simple, with irregular leaf scars and small stift roots with numerous black spines. Leaves are situated to very open crown at the top of trunk, they are dark green (orange or red in young) about 2 m long, divided irregularly into diversely broad pinnae with straight apex; sheats and petioles bear small black spines. Inflorescence is axillar, up to 1 m long, branched to 3 orders; flowers are small, yellow, unisexual, 3-merous; male flowers with 6 stamens and rather big pistillodium, female flowers have 6 staminodes, 1 celled ovary and 3 distinct stigmas. Fruits are very small globose to slightly ellipsoid drupes 0.6 cm in diameter, becoming blackish-red in maturity.
Roscheria melanochaetesRoscheria melanochaetes
Roscheria melanochaetes
Roscheria melanochaetes
Roscheria melanochaetes
These images were taken in Seychelles, Mahé, NP Morne Seychellois; Praslin, glacis Noir (by Vít Grulich and Alena Vydrová, 4.–9. 2. 2011).