Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Laccospadix australasicus H.Wendl. & Drude

Palm, pandan or cycad
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Male flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit, whole and in longitudinal section [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Habit, leaves and fruit. © Stanley Breeden
In high-altitude rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Wendland, H. & Drude, C.G.O. (1875) Linnaea 39: 206. Type: Australiae ora tropica orientalis, ubi ad sinum Rockingham Bay! haec Palma lecta est 8.Febr.1866 in tractibus montium litus comitantibus. N.W.Uh.

Common name

Palm, Atherton; Palm, Black; Mountain Mist Palm; Black Palm; Atherton Palm; Palm, Mountain Mist


Usually grows more than 6 m tall but also flowers and fruits when smaller. Often multistemmed or with the stems in clumps.


Petioles about 60 cm long. Leaflets sessile, 17-40 x 1.5-3 cm, major veins raised on the upper surface. Base of the leafletsca. folded lengthwise, convex on the upper surface. Compound leaf rhachis ca. triangular in transverse section, angular on the upper surface. Leaflets all discrete, even the apical ones.


Flowers borne in spikes 30-200 cm long, on peduncles 40-50 cm long.


Infructescences long and spike-like. Individual fruits 15-16 x 7-8 mm. Endosperm intrusions ca. orange in colour. Embryo white, ca. 1.5-2 mm long.


Seed germination time 77 to 382 days. Cataphylls sheath the stem. First pair of true leaves compound with two leaflets. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf compound with 3-7 leaflets, leaflet blades 10-15 x 1-1.5 cm, longitudinally veined, compound leaf petiole 8-10 cm long.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 100-1600 m. Grows as an understory plant in wet mountain rain forests usually on soils derived from granite.

Calyptrocalyx australasicus Scheff., Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg 1: 131(1876).
RFK Code
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