Edelman, S & J.H. Richards (2018). Morphology and architecture of the threatened Florida palm Acoelorrhaphe wrightii (Arecaceae: Coryphoideae). Candollea 73: 49–59. In English, English abstract. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15553/c2018v731a5
Rhizomatous palms are economically and ecologically important, but few studies on their growth and architecture have been published. The purpose of this study was to describe morphology, growth and architecture of Acoelorrhaphe wrightii (Griseb. & H. Wendl.) Becc. (Arecaceae: Coryphoideae), a rhizomatous circum-Caribbean wetland palm. The study was conducted on cultivated individuals at two botanical gardens in Florida, USA. Leaf morphology, stem height and circumference, lamina length, width and pinna number, and petiole length and width were measured on 2 ramets of 16 genets. Ramet growth rates were determined by recording leaf production per ramet every 3 months for 2 years on 2 ramets of 38 genets. Genet circumference, diameter, and number of ramet tiers, plus number of living ramets > 0.5 m, were measured on 41 genets. Ramets have an establishment period from inception to 0.3 m ramet height. This establishment phase is reflected in leaf morphology, leaf production and rhizome growth. Plant growth varies seasonally, with greater leaf production in the warmer wet season and less in the cooler dry season. Clonal architecture was consistent across gardens and populations. This study quantifies growth and the architectural potential for this species and highlights the importance of botanical gardens for research on long-lived, slow-growing species such as many palms.