Medemia argun (Mart.) Württemb. ex H.Wendl. (1881:93)

Argun palm



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Hyphaene argun Mart. in Hist. Nat. Palm. 3(ed. 2): 227 (1845); Medemia argum (Martius) Wurtt. ex H.A. Wendl. [orth. error used by Humphreys et al., 2019]; Areca passalacquae Kunth in Ann. Sci. Nat. (Paris) 8: 420 (1826); Medemia abiadensis H.Wendl. in Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 39: 93 (1881)


Conservation Status

Rediscovered in 1995

IUCN RedListstatus: Vulnerable



Egypt & Sudan


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Wendland, Hermann. (1881). Beiträge zu den Borassineen. Bot. Zeit. 39: 91-96.


Other references:

Abdallah, M. S., Sa'ad, F. M. and Abbas, A. S. (1972). Taxonomical studies in the flora of Egypt. Natural flora of Egyptian Nubia before the construction of Aswan High Dam. Technical Bulletin 4. Agriculture Research Centre, Egypt.

Ali, O. M. M. (2016). The Argun palm, Medemia argun, in the eastern Nubian Desert of Sudan. PALMS 60: 145-153.

Beccari, O. (1908). Le palme "Dum" od "Hyphaene" e più specialmente quelle dell' Africa italiana. Agric. Colon. 2: 137-183.

Beccari, O. (1924). Palme della Tribu Borassease. G. Passeri, Firenze.

Bornkamm, R., Springuel, I., Darius, F. , Sheded, M. and Radi, M. (2000). Some observations on the plant communities of Dungul Oasis (Western Desert, Egypt). Acta. Bot. Croat. 59: 101–109.

Boulos, L. (1968). The discovery of Medemia palm in the Nubian Desert of Egypt . Bot.Not. 121: 117–120.

Boulos, L. (2005). Flora of Egypt 4: 1-617. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.

Buschan, G. (1895). Vorgeschichtliche Botanik der Cultur- und Nutzpflanzen der alten Welt auf Grund prähistorischer Funde. Breslau: J.U. Kern’s Verlag.

Cosiaux, A., Ibrahim, H. and Baker, W. J. (2020). Medemia argun. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T30401A2793256. Accessed on 07 September 2023.

Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. and Pickering, H. (eds.). (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

David, A. R. and Tapp, E. (1992). The Mummy’s Tale. The Scientific and Medical Investigation of Natsif-Amun, Priest in the Temple of Karnak. Michael O’Mara Books Ltd.

Davies, R. I. and Pritchard, H. W. (1998). Seed storage and germination of the palms Hyphaene thebaica, H. petersiana and Medemia argun. Seed Sci. & Technol. 26: 823-828.

Dobignard, D. and Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.

Dransfield, J. and Moore, H. (1982). The Martian Correlation: Two editions of Martius’ Historia Naturalis Palmarum compared. Kew Bull. 37(1): 91-116.

Dransfield, J., Uhl, N. W., Asmussen-Lange, C. B., Baker, W. J., Harley, M. M. and Lewis, C. E. (2008). Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

El Hadidi, M., Nabil, M. M., Ghani, A. and Fahmy, A. G. (1992). The Plant Red Data Book of Egypt. The Palm Press, Cairo.

Elshibli, Sakina and Korpelainen, Helena. (2021). Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Medemia argun (Mart.) Wurttenb. ex H.Wendl. Based on Genome-Wide Markers. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9: 687188.

Gibbons, M. and Spanner, T. W. (1996). Medemia argun lives! Principes 40(2): 65-74.

Gibbons, M. and Spanner, T. W. (1999). In the valleys of the Sudan: finding Medemia. PALM Journal 149: 33-35.

Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.

Govaerts, R. and Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Grants, J. A. (1875). The Botany of the Speke and Grant Expedition. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, London 29.

Humphreys, Aelys M., Govaerts, Rafaël, Ficinski, Sarah Z., Lughadha, Eimear Nic and Vorontsova, Maria S. (2019). Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1043-1047. [Supplementary Dataset 1]

Ibrahim, Haitham and Baker, William J. (2009). Medemia argun – Past, Present and Future. PALMS 53(1): 9-19.

Johnson, D. V. (1988). Worldwide endangerment of useful palms. Advances in Economic Botany 6:268-273.

Johnson, D. V. (1998). Medemia argun. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. ( Downloaded on 30 August 2014.

Kunth, C. S. (1826a). Examen botanique des fruits et des plantes de la collection égyptienne. Pp. 227–229 in: Passalacqua, J. (ed.), Catalogue raisonné et historique des antiquités découvertes en Égypte. Paris: La Galerie D’Antiquités Égyptiennes.

Kunth, C. S. (1826b). Recherches sur les plantes trouvées dans les tombeaux égyptiens par M. Pasalacqua. Annales des sciences naturelles; comprenant la physiologie animale et végétale, l’anatomie comparée des deux règnes, la zoologie, la botanique, la minéralogue et la géologie. Paris. 8: 418-423.

Langlois, A. C. (1976). Supplement to Palms of the World. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Lucas, G.L.l. and Synge, H. (compilers). (1978). The IUCN Plant Red Data Book. IUCN, Morges, Switzerland.

Martius, Carl F. P. von (1823-1850 [1845]). Historia Naturalis Palmarum. Leipzig, Germany.

Newton, C. (2001). Le Palmier Argoun, Medemia argun (Mart.) Württemb. ex Wendl. P. 141–153 in Encyclopédie Religieuse de l’Univers Végétal. Croyances phytoreligieuses de l’Égypte ancienne (ERUV) II. OrMonsp XI.

null. (1998). Medemia argun. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T30401A9543878. Accessed on 12 February 2024.

Oldfield, Sara, Lusty, Charlotte and MacKinven, Amy (compilers). (1998). The World List of Threatened Trees. Cambridge, U.K.: World Conservation Press. 650 pp.

Pain, S. (2006). Fruits of the tomb. New Sci. 190 (2554): 54, 55.

Reichardt, H. W. (1859). Übersicht der Pflanzen des Alten Ägypten: Nach Vorträgen des Herrn Professor Dr. Franz Unger. Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 9(5): 145–153.

Rivera, Diego et al. (2023). Fossil or non-fossil? A best-practice guide for archaeobotanical taxa. Taxon.

Täckholm, V. Drar., M. (1950). Flora of Egypt 2. Bull. Fac. Sci. Egypt Univ. 28: 296-302.

Uhl, N.W. and Dransfield, J. (1987). Genera Palmarum, a classification of palms based on the work of Harold E. Moore Jr. L.H. Bailey Hortorium and the International Palm Society, Lawrence, Kansas.

Vartavan, C. de, Arakelyan, A. and Asensi-Amorós, V. (2010). Codex of Ancient Egyptian plant remains, 2nd ed. London: SAIS Academic Books.

WCSP (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet;


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