Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Hydriastele costata F.M.Bailey

Palm, pandan or cycad
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers after flowering [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Male and female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit, whole and in longitudinal section [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit. © CSIRO
Inflorescence bracts, prophyll (left) and peduncular bract (right) [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland swamp forest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Bailey, F.M. (1898) Queensland Agricultural Journal 2(2): 129. Type: Somerset, Cape York Peninsula, Nov. 1897, Frank L. Jardine.

Common name

Gulubia Palm


Solitary palm to 35 m tall, to 40 cm dbh, expanded at base; leaf scars to 35 mm wide; internodes to 25 cm long, smooth, grey.


Usually 10-15 leaves, each to 4 m long, held out straight but lower ones tend to hang below horizontal; with 80-120 pinnae each side of rachis. Crownshaft to 150 cm long, light green suffused with lilac, with dense gray tomentum. Petiole 15-40 cm long; rachis to 350 cm long. Pinnae regularly arranged, to 127 cm long, acuminate, pendulous.


Inflorescence to 125 cm long, 40 cm wide. Flowers in threes, 1-2 male. Male flowers 10 mm in bud, not opening widely; sepals 1-1.5 mm x 1-1.5 mm, green; petals 9-10 mm x 3-5 mm, cream; stamens 6-24, 5-7 mm long; filaments 0.5 mm long; anthers 2-3 mm, bright yellow. Female flowers 1.5-3 x 2-3 mm in bud; sepals 0.2-0.5 x 0.5 mm, light green; petals 2-2.5 x 2-2.5 mm, cream-green; stigmas 0.2 mm long.


Fruit ovoid, 10 mm long x 5 mm diam.; longitudinally ridged, smooth, blue-grey to deep maroon, with broad cream to pink longitudinal markings. Fibres dense and thick. Seed ovoid, 4 mm long x 4 mm diam.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the CYP, uncommon from Lockerbie Scrub to Iron Range. Altitudinal range from 0-90 m. Grows on the banks of rivers, along creeks and gulleys in Monsoon Forest, open eucalypt forest, open woodland and in grass-covered floodplains. Also in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Distinguished from other species of Hydriastele by the solitary habit, regularly arranged, pendulous pinnae, the straight leaves and fruit to 10 mm long.

Gulubia costata (Becc.) Becc., Annales de Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg 2: 134(1885). Gulubia costata var. gracilior Burret, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 13: 81(1936), Type: Papua New Guinea, Oriomo R., Woroi, Brass 5887 (holotype B; isotype BO, BRI). Gulubia costata (Becc.) Becc. var. costata, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 13: 81(1936). Kentia costata Becc., Malesia 1: 36(1877), Type: Indonesia, Aru Island, 1873, O. Beccari 11152.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.