Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Licuala ramsayi var. tuckeri Barfod & Dowe

Palm, pandan or cycad
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Leaf [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Petiole bases and leafbase fibres [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Barfod, A.S. & Dowe, J.L. (2005) Palms 49(1): 21-22. Type: Australia. Queensland. Cape York Peninsula, Lockerbie Scrub, south of Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, 29 Sept. 1999, J.L.Dowe 602 & A.S.Barfod (Holotype BRI; isotype AAU).

Common name

Fan Palm


Solitary palm tree. Stem up to 10 m tall and 7-10 cm in DBH.


Crown with 9-12 erect to semi-drooping leaves; leaf sheath up to 100 cm long, and disintegrating into a light to dark brown persistent fibrous mesh. Petiole up to 2 m long, basal part 1.2-1.8 cm in diam., abaxial side from slightly ridged or furrowed basally to flat below the blade, lower part armed with up to 5 mm long, mixed long and short, straight to recurved spines; lamina broadly elliptic to almost circular, glabrous, chartaceous, maximum diam. 1.2-1.8 m in diam., divided into 17-23 segments; the distal 1-3 segments inserted on a rather thick and conspicuous extension of costa, mid segment 7-23 costate, 60-80 cm long, 20-40 cm wide, apex truncate, lateral segments 2-5 costate, 50-75 cm long, 8-18 cm wide, apex truncate, basal segments 2-5 costate, 50-65 cm long, 5-10 cm wide, apex obliquely truncate; indentations mixed long and short, those leading to the adaxial folds 1-5 cm long, those leading to the abaxial folds about 0.5 cm long.


Inflorescences usually several on one palm, 2.0-3.5 m long, arcuate, prophyll 20-30 cm long, green at the base to brown and chartaceous distally, length of peduncle plus first subtending bract 50-70 cm, rachis with 8-10 nodes, subtending bracts tubular, up to 30 cm long, decreasing in size towards the apex, glabrous or with scattered ramenta, first order branches to 25-55 cm long, decreasing in length towards the apex, the proximal ones bearing 15-50, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, 15-30 cm long rachillae. Flowers mostly solitary, subsessile to shortly pedicellate, subtending bract deltoid to strapshaped, up to 1 mm long, early deciduous; calyx 2.5-3.5 mm long, urn-shaped to cupulate, with three rounded to obtuse lobes, glabrous, cream with brown edges, receptacle and calyx fused for 0.3-0.5 mm; corolla cream colored, 3.3-3.5 mm long, glabrous, turning brown to black after anthesis; stamens 2.0-2.3 mm long, fused to corolla for 1.5-1.7 mm, staminal ring cream-colored at anthesis, truncate, filaments subulate, ca. 0.2 mm long, anthers 0.3-0.4 mm long, rounded to elliptic; ovary ca. 1 mm long, glabrous, turbinate, rounded to truncate apically, style 1.2-1.3 mm long, filiform.


Fruit ovoid, 1-1.5 cm long, 0.8-1 cm diam., orange to red at maturity. Seed globose, 0.6-0.9 cm diam.; raphe prominent.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ to near Cooktown. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Occurs in rainforest, swamp forest, littoral forest and in diverse riparian and riverine habitats, on various soil types.

Natural History & Notes

Distinguished by the leaf segments united into +/- regular multiples; the leaf sheath which remains attached to the leaf; the petiole which is unarmed or with a few spines at the base of the petiole; and the flowers which are mostly solitary.

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