Linospadix microcaryus

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Linospadix (lihn-oh-SPAH-dihks)
Rare Palm
Scientific Classification
Genus: Linospadix (lihn-oh-SPAH-dihks)
Linospadix sessilifolius
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Queensland, Australia. From Mts. Spurgeon and Lewis to just south of Innisfail,
Mt. Lewis, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Dr. John Dransfield, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Palmweb.
most common on the lower slopes of Mts. Bartle Frere and Bellenden-Ker, and the Malbon Thompson Range, from near sea level to 1600 m elevation, in rain forest on granite, or occasionally on basalt and metamorphics. (J.L. Dowe. 1997)/Palmweb.


Clustering small palm. Stems l-6, to 3 m tall, 7-25 mm in diam., internodes elongate, green; crown with 5-9 leaves. Leaves 28-70 cm long, irregularly segmented with united pinnae, segments with broad bases, or regularly pinnate; petiole 1-23 cm long, 3-6 mm wide; pinnae 3-23 per leaf, 11-36.5 cm long, by 0.9-7.4 cm wide, semiglossy, lettuce to mid-green above, sometimes dark green when in deep shade, lighter green below; midrib and secondary veins prominent on both surfaces; terminal pair broader than adjacent laterals and often basal pair broader than laterals; lamina, when backlit under 10X magnification, with numerous scattered clear elongate "cells" 0.5-1 mm long linearly parallel to midrib and veins. Inflorescence to B0 cm long. Staminate flowers globose to squatly bullet-shapedi n bud, 2-5 mm long; petals three times the length of sepals, apically rounded, without longitudinal striations, cream/dull yellow at anthesis, not widely opening; stamens 8-12; connective not extending beyond the anther. Fruit globose to turbinate, 5-9 X 5-a mm, yellow-orange, or pink to red at maturity; epicarp smooth. Seed subglobos. (J.L. Dowe. 1997)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Bailey's 1889 collection from Harvey's Creek (BRI [AQ75431]), cited by Domin in his 1915 protologue, is the type specimen for Linospadix microcarya. This species is the most common Linospadix in the Mt. Bellenden-Ker and Mt. Bartle Frere area. Linospadix microcarya stands apart from the other species due to some unique features: the leaf lamina contains elongate clear "cells" that are visible under 10X magnification, fruit is turbinate (infrequently globose), and staminate flowers do not open widely at anthesis. (J.L. Dowe. 1997)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

Etymology: The specific epithet is in reference to the relatively small fruit, from the Greek; micros - small, and caryon - fruit.

Conservation: Rare (Queensland Herbarium 1994). This designation could be revised to Common: distribution covers an area of approximately 120 km in length and the species is common throughout this range. (J.L. Dowe. 1997)

A delightful, small, clustering palm with thin stems that rarely reach more than 3 m tall, irregularly, usually broadly pinnate leaves and unbranched inflorescences with round fruits. Linospadix microcaryus is native to northeastern Queensland, Australia, where it grows in the understory of rainforests between sea level and 1600 m. It is one of the rarest Linospadix and in cultivation only in a few collections. (

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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