Livistona chinensis

Common name

Chinese fan palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect, gray or brown, to 12 m in height and 25 cm in diameter. Old leaves persist on the stem, leaving closely spaced rings of leaf scars when they fall away. Eventually the rings wear away to leave a relatively smooth (corky toward the base) stem. Leaves: Costapalmate, with a prominent hastula, induplicate, dull olive green, up to 2 m across, and divided to about two-thirds its length into stiff segments with drooping, bifid tips. The petioles are armed with robust marginal teeth toward the base (sometimes lacking these teeth). Flowers and fruit: The inflorescences are 1-1.5 m long and branched to five orders. Flowers have both male and female structures, pale yellow. The fruit is ovoid, about 2 cm across, and greenish to grayish blue when mature.

Diagnostic features

Field: Solitary, erect, gray or brown stems with closely spaced rings of leaf scars, eventually wearing away to leave a relatively smooth (corky toward the base) stem. Costapalmate leaves divided to about two-thirds their length into stiff segments with drooping, bifid tips. Fruits greenish to grayish blue when mature.

May be confused with

Other Livistona species, but L. chinensis has blue fruit. L. australis is taller with more robust leaf scars and deep green leaves.

Distribution

Native to China, Southern Japan

Additional comments

The most commonly planted species in this genus; cultivated in Hawaii.

This species has been included by The University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health as an invasive species in Florida and Hawaii. Click here for more details.

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council lists this species as a Category II invasive: exotic plants that show signs of increasing in abundance, but that have not yet altered native plant communities. Click here for more details.

Scientific name

Livistona chinensis (Jacq.) R.Br. ex Mart.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Latania chinensis Jacq.

Last Updated May 2014

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