Licuala spinosa

Common name

spiny licuala, mangrove fan palm


Stems: Clumping, upright stems to 4 m tall and 8-10 cm in diameter, with remnant fibers from leaf sheaths. Leaves: Costapalmate, with a stiff blade, divided into wedge-shaped, multi-ribbed segments, and forming a circle about 1 m across. Leaf surfaces, shiny green; leaftips, truncate and toothed. The petiole is armed throughout its length with teeth along the margins. Flowers and fruits: Inflorescences (1-2.5 m long) are branched to two orders in long drooping spikes. Flowers are small, white and bisexual. Fruits are small (1-1.5 cm), spherical, and red when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Field: Costapalmate leaves, with a stiff, rounded leaf blade in wedge-shaped, multi-ribbed segments, forming a broken circle; both leaf surfaces, deep green; leaftips, bifid.

Lab: Tufts of pale tomentum on the abaxial leaf folds near costa.

May be confused with

Other Licuala species, perhaps, but the circular leaf blades with wedge-shaped, multi-ribbed segments are quite distinctive.


Native to Malaysia, Indonesia

Scientific name

Licuala spinosa Thunb.




Licuala horrida Blume

Last Updated May 2014