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Species profile—Livistona fulva


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

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Arecaceae (palm)
Scientific name
Livistona fulva Rodd
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Blackdown fan palm
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
five sheets
Livistona fulva is a palm with a solitary trunk growing to 13 m tall and 20 to 25 cm in diameter. The trunk broadens gradually towards the base, where it is 30cm in diameter at the ground. The trunk surface is grey or brown and smooth. The crown is rather open, and rounded, consisting of up to 35 mostly spreading, flattish leaves with long arching petioles. The petioles are 150 to 250 cm long by 12 to 15 mm wide, with basal marginal thorns. The lamina is 90 to 100 cm long and 0.2 mm (or slightly more) thick. The upper lamina surface is glabrous and slightly greyish green with a satiny gloss; the lower surface is bluish-green, with a conspicuous orange-brown indumentum on the newly expended leaves. Each lamina consists of 30 to 33 segments either side of the stalk. The largest segments are 35 to 40 mm wide, free for 50 to 55 percent of their length and forked into 2 lobes for at most a few cm. The lobes are acute to acuminate.
The inflorescence is a little shorter than the petioles, 100 to 230 cm long, branched to four orders. The bracts have orange-brown scales, the rachillae densely papillose. The flowers are solitary or in sympodial clusters of 2 or 3, funnel-shaped, and yellow in colour. The sepals are narrowly triangular, 1 to 1.3 mm long, acute and membranous. The petals are broadly ovate, 1.6 to 2 mm long, acute and thick. The fruit is globose, 12 to 16 mm in diameter, black and pruinose. The seed is globose, 12 to 16 mm in diameter and 10 to 13 mm long (Rodd, 1988; Dowe and Jones, 2011).
Livistona fulva is distinct from all other Australian species and shows no obvious relationships. Apart from the leaf indumentum, other striking features include the very shallow bifurcation of the segments and the several-toothed apices of the rachis bracts (Rodd, 1988).
Livistona fulva occurs mainly along sandstone cliff-lines, on rocky foot-slopes below cliffs, in shallow rocky gullies of the Blackdown Tableland, and in deep sandstone gorges below major waterfalls around the edge of the plateau. Most occurrences are at altitudes between 300 and 600 m asl. The species grows in moderately tall eucalypt forest, dominated principally by a stringybark, Eucalyptus sphaerocarpa. Other associated species include Angophora leiocarpa and Allocasuarina torulosa and woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus cloeziana, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Corymbia citriodora and Lophostemon suaveolens (Rodd, 1988; Halford, 1997l Queensland Herbarium, 2012)).
Home range
Blackdown Tableland, Queensland (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Pollination of Livistona nitida is probably by wind and perhaps by generalist insect pollinators such as bees. Seed dispersal is undoubtedly facilitated by birds and fruit bats, as found for related species elsewhere (Corlett, 2005).
Livistona palms form well structured populations where it is simple to determine size structure classes based on trunk height, thus allowing a quantitative surrogate for population health (Hnatiuk 1977; Forster, 2009). The effect of fire on both recruitment and persistence of Livistona nitida is largely unknown, with only anecdotal observations currently available. There is little evidence of seedling establishment for L. fulva away from sheltered gullies and creek lines (often rocky) where pockets of fire exclusion occur. Virtually all adult and subadult individuals show extensive evidence of fire scorching on the trunks, indicating that they are able to resist the majority of 'cooler' fires. Intense 'fire storms' in the early 2000's that killed adult eucalypts, also resulted in the death of large adult L. fulva, as well as juveniles. Whether fire stimulates flowering and seedling regeneration in L. fulva, as speculated for L. mariae and L. eastonii (Hnatiuk 1977), is unknown (Forster, 2009).
Livistona fulva flowers from September to February and fruits from December to May (Dowe and Jones, 2011; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Processes that are threats to Livistona fulva include: too frequent fires that prevent seed set and kill juveniles; high visitor usage may introduce invasive plants and trampling of seedlings may occur; restricted distribution of the species makes it prone to stochastic events and; inappropriate legal collection practices (Halford, 1997; Forster, 2009).
Status notes
Livistona fulva is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management documents
Halford, D. (1997). Livistona fulva Species Management Profile, Department of Natural Resources, Queensland.
Management recommendations
Forster (2009) notes that Livistona nitida requires accurate survey to determine the number of subpopulations, geographical range, area of occupancy, and number of individuals. In addition, as there is little or no information available on the genetics, reproductive biology, dispersal, recruitment or population structure of this species, research into these areas is also recommended (Forster, 2009). Halford (2007) identifies protective measures for L. fulva and its habitat which include: the issuing of sales permits by government agencies (DPI) for commercial utilization, which must comply with relevant federal and state legislation; and where L. fulva occurs establish a protective buffer (0.3 ha), that excludes clearing, with all L. fulva at least 30 m inside the buffer (Halford, 1997).
Livistona fulva is distributed within the Leichhardt pastoral district (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Corlett, R.T. (2005). Interactions between birds, fruit bats and exotic plants in urban Hong Kong, South China. Urban Ecosystems 8: 275-283.
Dowe, J.L. and Jones, D.L. in Wilson, A.J.G. (Ed) (2011). Flora of Australia 39: 174.
Forster, P. (2009). Conservation Status Assessment for Livistona nitida Rare and Threatened Species Technical Committee November 2010.
Halford, D. (1997). Livistona fulva Species Management Profile, Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Hnatiuk, R.J. (1977). Population structure of Livistona eastonii Gardn., Mitchell Plateau, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology 2: 461-466.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 04/01/2012.
Rodd, A.N. (1998). Revision of Livistona (Arecaceae) in Australia. Telopea 8 (1): 103.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (04/01/2012)

Other resources

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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Last updated
8 March 2022
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