Licuala grandis

Common name

licuala palm, ruffled fan palm, Vanuatu fan palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, upright stems to 3 m tall and 5-8 cm in diameter, ridged with leaf scars and some remnant fibers from leaf sheaths. Leaves: Costapalmate, with a stiff, undulating blade, undivided, but corregated, and forming a semicircle. Leaf surfaces, deep green; leaftips, bifid. The petiole has a prominent hastula and is armed toward the base with small, curved teeth along the fibrous margins. The costa extends almost one-third the length of the leaf blade. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescences (to 2 m long) are branched to three orders and extend beyond the leaves. Flowers are small, white and bisexual. Fruits are small (1-1.5 cm), spherical, and red or red-orange when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Costapalmate leaves, with a stiff, entire, undulating blade, forming a semicircle; both leaf surfaces, deep green; leaftips, bifid.

Lab: Tufts of pale tomentum clothe the abaxial leaf folds.

May be confused with

Other Licuala species, perhaps, but the rounded, entire leaf blades are quite distinctive.

Distribution

Native to Vanuatu

Additional comments

The leaf of Licuala grandis appears palmate from a distance, but the petiole extends into the leaf blade, forming a slender, arrow-shaped costa.

Scientific name

Licuala grandis H.Wendl.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Pritchardia grandis Veitch

Last Updated May 2014

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