Corypha taliera 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Arecales Arecaceae

Scientific Name: Corypha taliera Roxb.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 2.3
Year Published: 1998
Date Assessed: 1998-01-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Johnson, D.
C. taliera was discovered in 1919 by William Roxburgh and he considered it to be endemic to Bengal (Roxburgh 1832, Benthall 1933, Basu 1991). The last record of this palm growing in the wild was in Birbhum district of West Bengal (India) in a village near Shantiniketan where it was in an early fruiting stage in 1979, but the seeds could not be saved as the villagers cut down the tree along with its 6m tall pyramidal inflorescence fearing it to be a "ghost palmyra tree" (Basu 1986, Basu and Chakraverty 1994). A cultivated specimen in Howrah Botanic Garden ultimately flowered, and its seeds were saved, germinated and raised to seedlings. Some of the seedlings were sent to the Fairchild Tropical Garden, Florida, USA (Basu 1991).

In the early 1950s a solitary tree of about 10 feet (3 m) resembling a Palmyra Palm, but still distinct from it because of its enormous leaves and grayish stem, was found growing in the scrub jungle on the Dhaka University campus, Bangladesh. The specimen was tentatively identified as a species of Corypha. Considering it to be a rare unknown palm which might be lost during the fast development of the University campus, Prof. M. Salar Khan, then a lecturer in botany, requested the engineering department of the University to protect this palm. Subsequently, other people became interested in this plant, and the palm has been protected ever since within what became the enclosure of the residential quarters of the Pro Vice-Chancellor.

The Dhaka plant has since been tentatively identified as C. taliera based on the presence of deciduous leaf bases (Khan et al. 2001). However, molecular work is required to confirm this identification. Even if confirmed, it is possibile that this plant could have originated from cultivated material. Given this uncertainty and the fact that the plant is effectively in a "cultivated state", the status of Extinct in the Wild remains unchanged.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This monocarpic palm tree is not known in the wild. Specimens are growing in the Indian Botanic Garden and the Fairchild Tropical Garden. The identity of the single plant found growing in the scrub jungle on the Dhaka University campus in Bangladesh, back in the 1950s still needs to be confirmed.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
India (West Bengal)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Plants are in cultivation and the single plant on Dhaka University campus needs to be monitored, so that when it flowers seed can be collected for distribution and ex situ propagation.

Citation: Johnson, D. 1998. Corypha taliera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T38493A10118302. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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