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Red latan palm
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Tribe: Borasseae
Genus: Latania
Comm. ex Juss.
Type species
Latania lontaroides
Synonyms [1]
  • CleophoraGaertn.

Latania, commonly known as latan palm or latania palm, is a genus of flowering plant in the palm tree family, native to the Mascarene Islands in the western Indian Ocean. [1] [2]



The genus contains three species, one from each of the three major islands (including islets) in the chain. All species have been ranked as Endangered by the IUCN. [3]

ImageLeavesCommon NameScientific nameNative Distribution
Latania loddigesii 8zz.jpg Starr 070221-4777 Latania loddigesii.jpg blue latan palm, latanier de l'Ile Ronde Latania loddigesii Mart. Mauritius
Lantania lontariodes.jpg Latania lontaroides kz04.jpg red latan palm, latanier de la Réunion Latania lontaroides (Gaertn.) H.E.Moore Réunion
Latania verschaffeltii 4zz.jpg Latania verschaffeltii 2zz.jpg yellow latan palm, latanier de Rodrigues Latania verschaffeltii Lem. Rodrigues Island

Latan palms are large, single-stemmed fan palms with separate male and female plants (dioecy); when the leaves fall, they leave scars on the trunks. Male flowers are small, in clusters, and emerge from within leathery bracts on the catkin-like inflorescences. Female flowers are larger, solitary and not concealed within bracts. The fruits contain 1-3 pyrenes, which are seeds enclosed within woody endocarps. [4] The endocarps have sculpted surfaces and the three species are readily distinguished from their pyrenes. [5]

Pyrenes (seeds within endocarps) of the three species of Latania: left, L. verschaffeltii; middle, L. lontaroides; right, L. loddigesii Latania Pyrenes.jpg
Pyrenes (seeds within endocarps) of the three species of Latania: left, L. verschaffeltii ; middle, L. lontaroides ; right, L. loddigesii

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  1. 1 2 Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  3. "Latania conservation status". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. Dransfield, John; Uhl, Natalie W.; Asmussen, Conny B.; Baker, William J.; Harley, Madeline M.; Lewis, Carl E. (2008). Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN   978-1842461822.
  5. Bayton, Ross P. Borassus L. and the borassoid palms - systematics and evolution (PhD Thesis). University of Reading.