Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Wodyetia bifurcata A.K.Irvine

Palm, pandan or cycad
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Male flowers [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Mature fruit [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
Epicarp removed to reveal mesocarp fibres [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe
In open woodland with granite boulders [not vouchered]. © J.L. Dowe

Irvine, A. (1983) Principes 27(4): 165. Type: Australia, N.E. Queensland, confined to the southwest, south and southeast sides of Melville Range, latitude 14° 17 S, longitude 144° 28 E. Irvine 2184 (holotype QRS; isotypes BH, K).

Common name

Foxtail Palm


Single stemmed palm 6-15 m tall. The trunk is smooth, slender, and enlarged at the base.


Leaves 2.6-3.2 m long, arching; 90-110 pinnae each side of rachis; leafsheath to 120 cm long, light green with greyish-white bloom; petiole to 25-90 cm, greenish-whitish. Pinnae to 70 cm long, mostly divided longitudinally to the base into 1-17 segments; underneath light green to whitish-green.


Inflorescence to 112 cm long, bearing flowers in groups of three consisting of two male and one female flower. Male flowers with sepals 3, c. 5-6 mm long, cream-green; petals 3, c. 10 mm long, cream-green; stamens 58-72 per flower; ovary, style and stigma always well developed but the ovules are absent in the male flowers. Female flowers with sepals 3, 6-7 x 5-7 mm, green; petals 3, 9-11 x 6-8 mm, green; c. 3-6 staminodes present; stigma 5 mm long spreading.


Fruit 50-65 mm long x 27-60 mm wide, red when mature, mesocarp of thickened, blackish, dense fibres. Seed 32 mm long x 26 mm wide.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ where it only occurs in the Melville Range. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in rainforest and vine forest.

RFK Code
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