After Carol Friederich Gauss, 19th century German astronomer.
Solitary mostly spineless and toothless palms (except on the roots). Trunks greyish-white, ringed, often leaning, and swollen at the base, the roots forming a prickly mass at trunk base. Crownshaft indistinct but leaf bases sheathing. Leaves 3-10, feather-shaped. Leaflets in different planes giving the leaves a plumose appearance, slightly swollen at the junction with the midrib. Panicles arising among the leaves. Flowers unisexual, both sexes on a single inflorescence. Fruit roundish or lobed, red to orange, 1-3-seeded. [Opsiandra O.F Cook]
These palms often occur naturally in sparse scrub on limestone. One species is moderately common in cultivation.
Fresh seed takes 2-4 months to germinate.
Unarmed feather palms with trunks leaning and swollen at the base, the prickly prop roots often exposed; crownshaft-like leaf bases.
5 species in Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Belize and Guatemala.
Quero & Read (1986).
Source: (2005). Arecaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.