Livistona australis

Common name

Australian fan palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect, gray or brown, to 15 m in height and 30-45 cm in diameter. Old fibers and leaf bases persist on the stem, but with age, it becomes bare with conspicuous, rough, closely spaced rings of leaf scars and vertical fissures. Leaves: Costapalmate, with a prominent hastula, induplicate, glossy deep green, up to 2.5 m across, and divided to about the two-thirds its length into stiff segments with drooping, bifid tips. The petioles are armed with robust marginal teeth. Flowers and fruit: The inflorescences are 1-1.5 m long and branched to five orders. The creamy yellow flowers have both male and female structures. The fruit is spherical, about 2 cm across, and reddish-brown to black when mature.

Diagnostic features

Field: Solitary, erect, stem with conspicuous, rough, closely spaced rings of leaf scars and vertical fissures. Costapalmate leaves divided to about two-thirds their length into stiff segments with drooping, bifid tips. Petioles armed with robust spines.

May be confused with

Other Livistona species, but L. australis has a distinctive stem.

Distribution

Native to Australia

Additional comments

Occasionally cultivated in Hawaii; the most cold hardy of the Livistona palms

Scientific name

Livistona australis (R.Br.) Mart.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Corypha australis R.Br.

Last Updated May 2014

idtools.org