The genus Hyphaene and its species

Hyphaene is represented by solitary or clustered, dwarf to large, sometimes prostrate palms, dioecious, pleonanthic, dichotomously branched or solitary; leaves costapalmate, green to green-bluish, induplicate, marcescent; leaf sheath with a longitudinal middle cleft; petiole margins armed with robust, triangular, reflexed or upward pointing black spines; inflorescences interfoliar, male and female relatively similar in morphology, the female inflorescence more robust; flowers unisexual; fruits variable in shape and in size, rarely spherical or ovoid, coloured variously from brown to orange when ripe, mesocarp fibrous, endocarp well developed, seeds 1-3.

The genus Hyphaene is composed by 8 species. Here we propose brief descriptions for all of them, as well as data on their ecology, distribution and uses, when known.

We are currently recognizing the following species within the genus Hyphaene:

H. compressa, H. coriacea, H. dichotoma, H. guineensis, H. macrosperma, H. petersiana, H. reptans and H. thebaica.  

Synonyms associated to the genus Hyphaene

The following synonymy is based on the publication of Stauffer et al. (2014) on the palms of Tropical Africa and Henderson (2009, Palms of Southern Asia) with respect to Hyphaene dichotoma (J. White ex Dubl.) Furtado.


Borassus dichotomus J. White ex Dubl. ≡ Hyphaene dichotoma


 Chamaeriphes benguelensis (Welw. ex H. Wendl.) Kuntze = Hyphaene petersiana

            compressa (H. Wendl.) Kuntze ≡ Hyphaene compressa

            coriacea (Gaertn.) Kuntze ≡ Hyphaene coriacea

            crinita (Gaertn.) Kuntze = Hyphaene thebaica

            guineensis (Schumach. & Thonn.) Kuntze ≡ Hyphaene guineensis

            macrosperma (H. Wendl.) Kuntze ≡ Hyphaene macrosperma

            shatan (Bojer ex Dammer) Kuntze = Hyphaene coriacea

            thebaica (L.) Kuntze = Hyphaene thebaica

            turbinata (H. Wendl.) Kuntze = Hyphaene coriacea

            ventricosa (J. Kirk) Kuntze = Hyphaene petersiana


  Corypha africana Lour. = Hyphaene coriacea

            thebaica L. ≡ Hyphaene thebaica


 Cucifera thebaica (L.) Delile ≡ Hyphaene thebaica


Douma thebaica (L.) Poir. ≡ Hyphaene thebaica


  Hyphaene argun Mart. ≡ Medemia argun

            aurantiaca Dammer = Hyphaene petersiana

            baikieana Furtado = Hyphaene thebaica

            baronii Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            beccariana Furtado = Hyphaene coriacea

            benadirensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

            benguelensis Welw. ex H. Wendl. = Hyphaene petersiana

 var. plagiocarpa (Dammer) Furtado = uncertain taxonomical identification

 var. ventricosa (J.Kirk) Furtado = Hyphaene petersiana

            bussei Dammer = Hyphaene petersiana

            carinensis Chiov. ≡ Livistona carinensis

            coriacea var. minor Drude = Hyphaene coriacea

            crinita Gaertn. = Hyphaene thebaica

            cuciphera Pers. = Hyphaene thebaica

            dahomeensis Becc. = Hyphaene thebaica

            dankaliensis Becc. = Hyphaene thebaica

            depressa Becc. = Hyphaene guineensis

            doreyi Furtado = Hyphaene guineensis

            goetzei Dammer = Hyphaene petersiana

            gossweileri Furtado = Hyphaene guineensis

            hildebrandtii Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            incoje Furtado = Hyphaene compressa

            indica Becc. = Hyphaene dichotoma

            kilvaensis (Becc.) Furtado = Hyphaene compressa

            luandensis Gossw. (nom. nud.) = Hyphaene guineensis

            mangoides Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

            mateba Becc. = Hyphaene guineensis

            megacarpa Furtado = Hyphaene compressa

            migiurtina Chiov. = Hyphaene reptans

            multiformis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. ambigua Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. compressa (H. Wendl.) Becc. ≡ Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. deformis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. diminuta Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. gibbosa Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. intermedia Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. kilvaensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. macrocarpa Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. mahengensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. manca Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. morogorensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. moshiensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. nasuta Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. obconica Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. obesa Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. odorata Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. panganensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. plagiosperma Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. rovumensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. semiplaena Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. stenosperma Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. subglobosa Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. tangatensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subsp. trigibba Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

 subvar. lindiensis Becc. = Hyphaene compressa

            natalensis Kuntze = Hyphaene coriacea

            nephrocarpa Becc. = Hyphaene guineensis

            nodularia Becc. = Hyphaene thebaica

            oblonga Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            obovata Furtado = Hyphaene petersiana

            occidentalis Becc. = Hyphaene thebaica

            ovata Furtado = Hyphaene petersiana

            parvula Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            pileata Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            plagiocarpa Dammer = Hyphaene petersiana

            pleuropoda Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            pyrifera Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

 var. arenicola Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

 var. gosciaensis (Becc.) Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

 var. margaritensis Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            santoana Furtado = Hyphaene thebaica

            semiplaena (Becc.) Furtado = Hyphaene compressa

            shatan Bojer ex Dammer = Hyphaene coriacea

            sinaitica Furtado = Hyphaene thebaica

            spaerulifera Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

 var. gosciaensis Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

           taprobanica Furtado = Hyphaene dichotoma

            tetragonoides Furtado = Hyphaene coriacea

            togoensis Dammer ex Becc. = Hyphaene thebaica

            tuleyana Furtado = Hyphaene thebaica

            turbinata H. Wendl. = Hyphaene coriacea

 var. ansata Becc. = Hyphaene coriacea

            ventricosa J.Kirk = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. ambolandensis Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. anisopleura Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. aurantiaca (Dammer) Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. benguelensis (Welw. ex H. Wendl.) Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. bussei (Dammer) Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. goetzei (Dammer) Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. petersiana (Klotzsch ex Mart.) Becc. ≡ Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. plagiocarpa (Dammer) Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. russisiensis Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

 subsp. useguhensis Becc. = Hyphaene petersiana

            welwitschii Furtado = Hyphaene guineensis

            wendlandii Dammer = Hyphaene coriacea


 Palma thebaica (L.) Jacq. ≡ Hyphaene thebaica