Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Archontophoenix tuckeri Dowe

Palm, pandan or cycad
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Male flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit, whole and in longitudinal section [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Inflorescence with bracts attached [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Dowe, J.L. & Hodel, D.R. (1994) Austrobaileya 4(2): 240, fig. 1 D1-D3. Type: Queensland. Cook District: Upper Peach River, Bonanza Creek, common at waters edge in rainforest, 240 m altitude, Aug 1948, Brass 19831 (holo: BRI [AQ325430]).

Common name

Tucker's Alexandra Palm


Palm to 20 m tall. Trunk to 26 cm DBH expanding to 60 cm at the base and distinctly tapered to the apex, smooth becoming fissured with age. Leaf scars prominent.


Leaves 7-12 and up to 3.15 m long, held flat or with a moderate twist with 43-68 pinnae per side; new leaves often with a bronze red tinge. Crownshaft 84-130 cm long, waxy light- to lime green, slightly bulging at the base, thinly textured, tapered towards apex, light brown and glossy. Petiole to 44 cm long, deeply concave below wnd convex below, to 4 cm wide in basal part. Rachis to 175 cm long, with a broad flat ridge becoming sharp in the front portion. Pinnae to 93 x 5 cm, apical third frquently semi-pendulous. Silver-grey abaxially due to the dense silvery scales. Midrib prominent on both surfaces with up to 8 prominent secondary ribs abaxially.


Inflorescence 30-60 x 60-70 cm, axes glabrous. Prophyll 40-45 x 11-12 cm, thin, fibry, papery, winged, beaked, silvery on the adaxial surface. Peduncular bract to 37 x 9 cm, tubular and thin. Third bract to 15 x 15 mm. Peduncle to 12 x 4.5 x 2 cm, terete, winged at base. Rachis to 50 cm long, angular, with 8 main branches. Rachillae stout, to 30 cm long and prominently zig-zagged. Flowers white. Triads throughout rachillae. Floral bracts prominent, sharp and cup-shaped. Staminate flowers 6.5-7 mm long opening to 11 mm wide. Sepals 1.5-3 mm long. Petals 4.5-7 x 1.8-3.6 mm, falcate, covered in rusty scales. Stamens 13-19. Filaments curved and with rusty brown scales. Pistillode about as long as stamens and longitudinally grooved, basal portion with rusty scales. Pistillate flowers globose.


Fruit ovoid, 15-25 x 10-15 mm, bright red to dark brick-red at maturity.Persistent calyx 5-6 mm long. Epicarp glossy. Mesocarp fibres in 2 distinct layers, outer of thin fibres and inner of flat, to 3 mm wide, mostly branched fibres. Seed globose, to 9 mm diameter, dull brown.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP from the tip of Cape York to Coen in the south. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 500 m. Grows in moist places and along drainage lines in rainforest, vineforest and in gallery forest with rainforest elements.

Natural History & Notes

Distinguished by: undersurface of pinnae with silver-grey scales, ramenta (large irregular scales on midrib) lacking; perianth white-cream, fruit ovoid, 15-25 mm; mesocarp fruit fibres in two layers, outer layer thin, occasionally branched, inner layer thick, flat, to 3 mm wide, mostly branched. Fibres compact (not free) when ripe.

RFK Code
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