Johannesteijsmannia altifrons

A thank you to Mike Bush (aka aviac@Flickr) for sharing another one of his photographs from the Singapore Botanic Garden (via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool | original image). Always appreciated, Mike!

I have to admit to choosing this one primarily because of the genus name, though the plants are exceptional to my eyes (link also contains a guide to pronouncing the name as well). The genus is named after the 19th-century Dutch botanist Johannes Teijsmann, while altifrons means “tall foliage” (leaves can exceed 6m / 20ft in length). Known colloquially by the much shorter “Joey palm” (or diamond Joey palm), Johannesteijsmannia altifrons is native to Borneo, Malaya, Sumatra, and Thailand. It is a species of rainforest slopes and ridge-tops. Three other species are recognized in the genus; all are endangered by habitat loss.

To read an account of encountering Johannesteijsmannia altifrons in the wild, see this article by Rolf Kyburz from Palms & Cycads (a publication of the Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia).

Johannesteijsmannia altifrons

6 responses to “Johannesteijsmannia altifrons”

  1. Bonnie

    Golly; they don’t even look real.

  2. James Singer

    Reminds me of Licuala grandis. Love these oddballs.

  3. Wendy Cutler

    I love the photo, had already made it a favourite on flickr. The photos at the link on “exceptional” are definitely worth a look – they give a great idea of the size of these leaves.

  4. Ann Kent

    My family lived in Malaya for two years when I was a child. I cannot be sure if this is the same species of palm but it brings back memories of me, as the eldest child, towing my two younger siblings around on a giant palm leaf sled. Stunning photo. Thank you, Mike.

  5. steve

    One of my favorite palms! “Silver Joey” in Australia is silver form. Gorgeous!!!

  6. Cheryl Henley

    What a great photo of such a stately palm – 20 ft leaves would be so spectacular to see!

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