Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Carpentaria acuminata (H.L.Wendl. & Drude) Becc.

Palm, pandan or cycad
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit, whole, in longitudinal section and with epicarp removed to reveal mesocarp fibres [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland monsoonal forest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Beccari, O. (1885) Annales de Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg 2: 128.

Common name

Carpentaria Palm


Single-stemmed palm 9-30 m tall with a DBH of 15-20 cm, grey to light tan with widely spaced rings.


Leaves 10-12 per plant. Leaves pinnate, 2-4 m long, arching; pinnae many, narrow, arching, 40-60 x 1.2-1.5 cm long, deep green. Crownshaft smooth, green.


Inflorescence arise from the upper leaf bases and then progressively down the trunk, 1-2 m long with flower clusters 90-120 cm long, pendant, much branched, beneath the crown shaft bearing white male and female flowers. Flowers ca. 10 mm across. Sepals 3, petals 3 and the flowers in groups of 3 with 1 female between 2 male flowers. Male flowers with 30-40 stamens.


Fruit globular and up to 20 mm diameter, scarlet when ripe with up to 3 seeds within. Seeds smooth.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the top end of the NT. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in canopy or subcanopy of rainforest, Allosyncarpia forest, vine forest and swamp forest on sandy to heavy clay lom soils.

Natural History & Notes

Flesh of fruit highly caustic (Cronin 1989).

Kentia acuminata H.Wendl. & Drude, Linnaea 39: 207(1875), Type: Escape Cliffs, NE of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
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