Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Normanbya normanbyi (W.Hill) L.H.Bailey

Palm, pandan or cycad
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flower [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Male flower [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Section through seed. © CSIRO
Fruit, whole and in longitudinal section, on blue-grey coloured under surface of pinnae [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Inflorescences [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In lowland rainforest [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Bailey, L.H. (100) Gentes Herbarum 2: 188.

Common name

Black Palm


Single stemmed palm up to 30 m tall. The trunk is smooth, slender, and closely ringed, and becomes almost black with age.


Leaves 2.5 m long, arching; 75-95 pinnae each side of rachis; leafsheath to 120 cm long, light green with white to green tomentum; petiole to 30 cm, densely scaly. Pinnae to 45 cm long, divided longitudinally to the base into 7-11 segments.


Inflorescence within the leaves; to 90 cm long. Flowers sessile, in groups of three consisting of one male and two female. Male flowers with dark green sepals, yellowish-green to cream petals; 24-40 stamens. Female flowers with mid-green sepals, light green petals; 3 stigmas are strongly recurved.


Fruit are 35-50 mm long x 25-39 mm wide, ovoid, with a c. 5 mm beak at the apex. Pink to red-brown at maturity.Seed 35 mm long x 25 mm wide, endosperm deeply ruminate, seed coat orange-red.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ from south of Cooktown in the north to near Mossman in the south. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 700 m. Grows in rainforest and vine forest.

Ptychosperma normanbyi (W.Hill) F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 11(93): 56(1881). Saguaster normanbyi (W.Hill) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 735(1891). Drymophloeus normanbyi (W.Hill) F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 5: 1678(1902). Areca normanbyi (W.Hill) F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 8(65): 235(1874). Cocos normanbyi W.Hill, Report on the Brisbane Botanic Garden : 6(1874), Type: In rich alluvial soil on the banks of the Daintree River.
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