Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Caryota albertii F.Muell. ex H.Wendl. & Drude

Palm, pandan or cycad
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Female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Male flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Leaf [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Wendland, H.A. & Drude, C.G.O. (1875) Linnaea 39: 221. Type: Australia, Cape York, Daemel.

Common name

Native Fishtail Palm


Stem 10-18 m tall and up to 45 cm DBH. Dark tan to grey with widely spaced rings. Crownshaft absent.


The leaf crown is large with 3-7 m long bipinnate dark green leaves, somewhat glaucous on abaxial surface. Petiole unarmed and up to 90 cm long. The lealets are linearly obdeltoid to nearly linear, plicate, oblique and with jagged apices, up to 58 cm long and pendulous.


Inflorescence pendulous, 1.5-2.0 m long, many branched, spikes with yellowish flowers. Two male flowers and a single female flower grouped together. Outer segments of the male flower imbricate, rotund, ciliate, 4-5 mm diam., three inner segments valvate, 12-14 mm long and very hard. Stamens 30+. The plant is monocarpic and dies after flowering.


Fruit 2-3.5 cm long, round and dark red to blackish when mature. One to three smooth black seeds.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP from the Mungkan Kandju National Park northwards. Altitudinal range from 60-300 m. Grows in lowland rainforest, vine forest and swamp forest. Also from the Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea to the Solomon Islands.

Natural History & Notes

Used as a food source (Sago) in the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia. Often planted as an ornamental in Australia.

Caryota rumphiana var. australiensis Becc., Malesia 1: 74(1877). Caryota rumphiana var. albertii (F.Muell. ex H. Wendl.) F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 1: 233(1897).
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