Arenga australasica

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Arenga (ah-REHN-gah)
Arenga australisica fruiting.jpg
Scientific Classification
Genus: Arenga (ah-REHN-gah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Australian Arenga Palm, Southern Arenga, Australian sugar palm.

Habitat and distribution

Arenga australasica
Ho'omaluhia, Hawaii.
is found in Lowland tropical rainforest along coastal North Queensland, and the eastern coast of Arnhem Land. Occurs in the NT, CYP, NEQ and CQ as far south as Tully. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 240 m. Grows in rocky soil in rainforest, vineforest, monsoon forest, found in littoral rainforest in Queensland from Hinchinbrook Island to Torres Strait. It is also found in the Northern Territory in Arnhem Land, Groote Eylandt and in the Mary River area.


Palm often grows to 20 meters, Fruit color, Orange, Red; Being a clustering palm it usually has a number of immature suckers at the base. Leaves are pinnate and widely spaced along the rachis, often silvery on lower surface. Fruits are orange to red usually with 3 seeds, round, 2.2-2.8 cm diameter, and the flesh is highly irritant. It has often been confused, with the smaller Arenga microcarpa. The species is listed as vulnerable. Monocarpic: A stem will die after flowering and fruiting. Editing by edric.


Normal procedure of seed tray, tube and then pots is used. Fertilise and water as usual for any other palm. They have shown no undue difficulties; like most clumping Arengas are quite slow growing. Planted in the garden, full sun is tolerated, though semi-shade to establish would be preferred. Their potential as an indoor plant is untried.

In Southern California, and probably most Mediterranean climates, this is a pretty marginal palm. It handles some frost, but the chronic cool conditions of this climate's winters are very hard on this species and few if any adult palms exist in these climates. Those in similar zones on the east coast of the US have much better luck with this one.

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Comments and Curiosities

Flesh from the fruit is highly caustic.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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