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Species profile—Livistona lanuginosa


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Arecaceae (palm) → Livistona lanuginosa

Photo of Livistona lanuginosa () - Thompson (DES), J.,Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC)
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Arecaceae (palm)
Scientific name
Livistona lanuginosa Rodd
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Cape River fan palm
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Livistona lanuginosa is a palm with a solitary trunk growing to 20m tall and 35cm in diameter. The trunk broadens gradually towards the base, where it is 50-60cm in diameter above a slight pedestal of exposed roots. The lower trunk surface is rather corky with shallow fissures, while the surface of the upper trunk is very rough with deep, zig-zagging fissures.
The crown is globular or umbrella-shaped rather than open, consisting of 35-45 strongly drooping or horizontally spreading greyish leaves. The leaf stalks (petioles) are stiff, triangular in cross-section, 1.5-2.0m long by 3-3.5cm wide, with blackish prickles to 3mm long toward the base. The leaf stalk is at first densely whitish-wolly over most of its length and extends into the leaf blades, which are fan-shaped, downward-curving, 1.3-1.9m long, 0.3mm thick, and pale blusih-grey with a persistent thick coating of white wax on the underside. Each leaf blade consists of 43-46 segments either side of the stalk. The largest segments are 36-42mm wide, free for 60-70 percent of their length and forked into 2 lobes for about 50-75 percent of the free length. The lobes taper evenly into fine, flexible tips and are arching with pendulous tips.
The flowering stems are slightly longer than the leaf stalks and erect, but with the branches bent strongly downwards. The single, funnel-shaped flowers are 3mm long and spaced 1-3mm apart. The fruit is spherical, shallowly conical at the base, 33-36mm in diameter and dark purplish-brown when ripe.
The abundant woolly scales on the leaf stalks and the large brownish fruits are diagnostic for this species. (Rodd 1998; DEWHA 2008)
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Livistona lanuginosa only occurs in open eucalypt forest along sandy river and creek channels that flow seasonally, but with permanent pools or soaks. It grows at altitudes between 150-300m above sea level. (Rodd 1998; DEWHA 2008)
Contributors: Ailsa Holland, Mellisa Mayhew 18/06/2009
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Livistona lanuginosa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 08/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Livistona lanuginosa, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 08/10/2008.
Pettit, N.E. & Dowe, J.L. (2004). Distribution and population structure of the vulnerable riparian palm Livistona lanuginosa A.N.Rodd (Arecaceae) in the Burdekin Rvier catchment, north Queensland. Pacific Conservation Biology 9(3): 207-214.
Rodd, A.N. (1998). Revision of Livistona (Arecaceae) in Australia. Telopea 8(1): 82-85.
Profile author
Ailsa Holland (18/06/2009)

Other resources

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT)
The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH)
Atlas of Living Australia

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
8 March 2022
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