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Calyptrocalyx elegans


Calyptrocalyx elegans

Family Name: Arecaceae (Palmae)
Common Name: Mara


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Palm (Solitary Palm, Cluster Palm)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 5 m


Native Distribution New Guinea
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Calyptrocalyx elegans is a monoecious palm, growing to about 1 – 5 m tall, and can display solitary or clustering habit. Internodes is dark green and can be up to 6 cm long. 
Foliage Leaf is 32 – 120 cm long and very variable, where it can be bifid, or irregularly segmented or regularly pinnate. Leaf margin looks like it has been torn. Petiole is 12 – 30cm long and adaxially channelled. 
Flowers Inflorescence is 50 – 90 cm long and 1-spiked.  Flowers are greenish cream to yellowish orange. Prophyll is about 12 cm long while peduncular bract can be 30 cm long. 
Fruits Fruit is elliptical (12 – 14mm long and 10 – 12 mm diam) and turns red when matures. Scattered deciduous brown scales can be found on the surface of the fruit. Seed is elliptical, about 12 mm long and 7 mm diameter. 
Etymology The genus is greek for a veil and calyx, with reference to the way the outermost sepal covers the rest of the flower in bud. The species epithet means elegant. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit & Vegetable)
[Others]: Stems are used to make spear heads and shafts. Leaves are used to wrap food. In New Guinea, the spear leaf is pulled out of the palm and the heart of the palm is eaten. 

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden, Orange, Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red


References Dowe, J.L & Ferrero, M.D. 2001. Revision of Calyptrocalyx and the New Guinea species of Linospadix (Linospadicinae: Arecoideae: Arecaceae). Blumea. 46. 207 - 251

Image Repository



Master ID 33034
Species ID 7448
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.