Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Linospadix microcaryus (Domin) Burret

Palm, pandan or cycad
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers. © Barry Jago
Male flowers. © Barry Jago
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Pinnate leaf form [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit, several views, cross section & seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Burret, (M.)K.E. (1934) Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 12 : 331.

Common name

Palm, Walking Stick; Walking Stick Palm


Clustering small palm, 1-3 m tall. Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-3 m tall but occasionally grows to 4 m.


Petiole and rhachis (at least towards the base) scurfy or densely clothed in prostrate hairs. Lateral leaflets about 15-20 cm long. Terminal leaflets or segments wider at the base than any of the lateral leaflets. Leaflets discrete. Elongated clear 'cells' visible with a lens in the leaf blade. Cells run +/- parallel with the midrib and veins, 3-23 per leaf. Leaflet apex usually praemorse, at least the broader apical ones. Compound leaf petiole more than half the length of the leaflet producing section of the rhachis.


Inflorescence contains both male and female flowers, spikes about 30-80 cm long, peduncles about 40 cm long, male flowers opening and falling before the female flowers in the same cluster reach maturity. Anthers about 8-12 per flower. One ovule per ovary.


Fruits globose to turbinate, about 4-8 mm diam., longitudinally ribbed with fibres. Seeds about 3-6 x 3-5 mm.


Seed germination time 105 to 196 days. First leaf compound with two leaflets or deeply lobed, Y or V-shaped, each lobe with a midrib and 1 or 2 other major veins plus a number of minor longitudinal veins. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf compound with two or three broad-based, sessile or up to 8 or 9 longitudinally veined leaflets. Leaflets usually notched at the apex. Compound leaf base sheathing the stem and densely clothed in crisped hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Found in the Mt Spurgeon and Mt Lewis areas and southwards to Innisfail. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1600 m. Grows as an understory plant in a variety of well developed types of rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Sometimes cultivated as an indoor plant.

Distinguished from other species by the combination of the clustering habit, globose or top-shaped fruit, and leaf usually irregularly pinnate.

Bacularia microcarya Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 499(1928), Type: Nordost- Queensland: Regenwalder bei Harveys Creek (Domin, I. 1910). holo: PR?. Bacularia sessilifolia Becc. ex Martelli, Atti della Soc. Toscana di Scienze Naturali Residente in Pisa. Memorie 44 : 133(1934), Type: Queensland, Russell River, 1886, Sayer s.n.; holo: FI. Bacularia sessifolia var. multisecta Becc., Nuovo Giorn. Bot. Ital. 42: 30(1935), Type: Not designated. Fide Dowe & Irvine 1997). Linospadix microcarya var. multisecta (Becc.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Mus. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 331(1935), Type: Not Designated. Fide Dowe & Irvine (1997).
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