Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Livistona decora (W.Bull) Dowe

Palm, pandan or cycad
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Flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Habit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Dowe, J.L. & Jones, D.L. (2004) Austrobaileya 6(4): 979-980.

Common name

Ribbon fan palm; Weeping cabbage palm.


Solitary trunks to 18 m tall, dbh 25-30 cm, grey; petiole remnants frequently remain at the base of the stem.


Leaves 30-60 in an obloid crown; petiole 150-280 cm long, 18-24 mm wide, flat or slightly concave on the upper surface, green throughout, margins with single curved black spines to 20 mm long in the proximal portion; leafbase fibres moderately prominent, coarse, distinergrating; lamina regularly segmented, more or less circular, 120-185 cm long, bright green on the upper surface, light underneath. lamina segments 70-84, free for 82-88% of length, apical split 44-54% of length of free portion, lobes pendulous.


Inflorescence 100-350 cm long, with 8-13 partial inflorescences, branched to 4 orders; longest partial inforescence to 110 cm; prophyll 37 cm long, 11-16 cm wide, woody; peduncle terete, 60 m wide at the base, glabrous; peduncular bract lacking; rachis bracts loose, glabrous to sparsely papillate; rachis to 25 mm diameter at the base; primary rachis bract tubular, loose, apically fibrous-laterate, bracts subtending each partial inflorescence basally tubular, becoming winged distally, apex pointed; in the most distal partial inflorescence there are two vestigial bracts at the base; rachillae 5-20 mm long, papillose. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-6, funnel-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long in bud; sepals ovate-triangular, ca. 1.3 mm long, membranous, obtuse, yellow; stamens 1.5 mm long.


Fruit globose, 12-18 mm diameter; epicarp shiny black, with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends about half the length of the fruit; mesocarp 1-3 mm thick, spongy, moist, fibres aggregated toward the endocarp; endocarp thin, brittle; pedicel to 2 mm long. Seed globose, ca. 10 mm wide; intrusion half to three-quarters across endosperm; eophyll 5-ribbed.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs at the southern end of NEQ near Townsville, widespread in CEQ, and southwards to Noosa. Altitudinal variation from near sea level to 450 m. Grows in dry rainforest, riparian rainforest, open forest.


Corypha decora W.Bull, Catalogue of New Beautiful and Rare Plants offered by William Bull: 10 (1887). Neotype: Australia. Queensland, Yepoon-Emu Pard Rd, c. 11 km S of Yepoon, A.N.Rodd 3069 with S.Jacobs, 12 May 1976.  Livistona decipiens Becc., Webbia; raccolta di scritti botanici 3: 301, t. II (1810).  Livistona decipiens var. polyantha Becc., Recensione delle palme del vecchio mondo. Webbia; raccolta di scritti botanici 5(1): 18 (1921). Type: "D' origine ignota, ma certamente propria della medesima regione della form tipica. Coltivata nel giardino botanico di Buitenzorg."

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