Livistona carinensis

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Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
carinensis (kahr-ih-NEN-sis)
Djibouti Islands. Bankoualé Palm.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
carinensis (kahr-ih-NEN-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitay
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Bankoualé Palm, Nakilto (Afar), Daban, Madah (Somali), N,tug, Somm (Arabic). Desert fan palm

Habitat and Distribution

Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen. In the Horn of Africa, in Djibouti in the Goda Mts, and in Somalia at Carin, Uncad, Galgala, Marajo, Duud Shabeel and Xamur.
Day Forest National Park, Djibouti Islands. Bankoualé Palm. Photo by stefanoabdou
In Yemen in the Hadramaut region at El Mintaq and Wadi Hadjer. Grows in or adjacent to intermittently flowing streams or soaks in valley bottoms, but never fully dry soils, in semi-arid regions with rainfall less than 400 mm per annum, at 200-975 m alt.


Hermaphroditic, Solitary palm. Trunk to 40 m tall, about 40 cm in diameter breast high, leaf scars prominent, slightly oblique, irregular in width, internodes narrow, petiole stubs persistent in the lower 1-2 m. Leaves 30-40 in a globose to conical crown; petiole to 125 cm long, 5-8 cm wide proximally, 1-2 cm wide distally, adaxially flat to shallowly concave, bright orange-yellow-green, margins armed with large single or double, dark brown curved spines throughout, but largest and closer in the proximal portion; spines conical, basally swollen, apically acute, retrorsely recurved, brown-black, 7-25 mm long, 3-10 mm wide at the base, 8-15 mm apart, reduced to tubercles in the distal portion of the petiole, 4-6 cm apart; leaf-base fibres prominent, fine, persistent; appendage rigid, 6-7 cm long, brown to black; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, subcircular in outline, 80-95 cm long, thick, both surfaces waxy, glabrous, grey-green on adaxial surface, grey abaxially,drying chartaceous; lamina divided for 75-85% of its length, with 50- 70 segments, depth of apical cleft 40-50% of the segment length, apical lobes rigid, segment midrib very prominent; parallel veins 18-20 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins, inconspicuous on the surface; segment margins thickened, with a deciduous filament,the remains of which persist where the segments diverge from adjacent segments; lamina anatomically isolateral, hypodermis 1-layered below each surface (not with a 2?layered adaxial hypodermis as in other species, cf. Tomlinson, 1961). Inflorescences unbranched at the base, 200-240 cm long, extending beyond the limit of the crown by about 20 cm, slender, arching, eventually pendulous, branched to 3 orders; partial inflorescences 6-12; rachillae very thin, yellowish, with scattered long hairs; peduncular bract 1, glabrous; rachis bracts tubular, brown red, striate, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of about 5, about 2 mm long, yellow-green, abaxial surface of perianth segments with scattered long hairs; sepals much shorter than the petals, irregular, margins hyaline, scattered long hairs on the abaxial surface near the apex; petals apically pointed, scattered long hairs near the apex; filaments basally connate; carpels scarcely fused, similarly the styles. Fruit globose, 5-20 (50) mm in diam., dark brown to black; epicarp thin, dull, shallowly rugose in the fresh state, deeply rugose in the dried state; stigmatic remains apical; suture line extends for the length of the fruit; mesocarp greenish with very large sclerenchymatous cells; mesocarp very thin, adhering to the endocarp; pedicel narrow, 4-5 mm long. Seed globose; intruded by the seed coat to displace most of the endosperm; embryo sublateral. Eophyll 7-ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.


Sunny, well drained position. Drought and frost tolerant. Hardiness: zone 10a

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Comments and Curiosities

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).

Dowe, J.L., A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae). A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae).

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

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