| Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah) |
San Diego Zoo, Southern California. Photo by Geoff Stein
Habitat and DistributionBorneo, China Southeast, Jawa, Malaya, Society Is., Kampuchea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Hermaphroditic, Solitary palm. Trunk to 40 m tall, 15-65 cm in diameter; breast high, leaf scars raised, internodes broad, petiole stubs persistent in the basal 2 m or so. Leaves 25- 30 in a ± globose crown; petiole arching, 100-200 cm long, to 12 cm wide in proximal portion, to 15 mm wide in distal portion, adaxially flat to slightly ridged, glabrous, green to green-purple to green-red, glossy, frequently with a reddish-purple longitudinal stripe; margins with large, single, retrorsely recurved, green to brown spines 10-60 mm long, largest and closer in the proximal portion; leaf-base fibres moderately fibrous, coarse, persistent; lamina costapalmate, irregularly segmented, with segments grouped and with divisions between each group of segments deeper into the lamina than the divisions between individual segments, subcircular, 80-200 cm long, 150-170 cm wide, adaxially green, abaxially a similar green; lamina divided into groups of 2-12 segments separated from adjacent groups by a deep split that almost reaches the hastula; lamina divided for 37-78% of its length, with 80-90 segments, depth of apical cleft 19-50% of the segment length, apical lobes pendulous; parallel veins 6-7 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, 60-230 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, curving, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 4-9, 45-60 cm long; prophyll not seen; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts loosely sheathing, glabrous; rachillae 15-45 cm long, drooping, yellow, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 3-5, 1.5-1.75 mm long, yellow; sepals suborbicular; petals broadly triangular, obtuse. Fruit globose, or ellipsoid to reniform, 11-25 mm long, 10-18 mm in diam., often bilobed, glossy blue to purple; epicarp thin with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends for full length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp fleshy, 1.0- 1.5 mm thick; endocarp crustaceous; pedicel 1-3 mm long, ca 3 mm wide. Seed globose to ellipsoid, 9-24 mm long, 9-10 mm in diam., apically pointed; endosperm intruded for ca half its width; embryo lateral. Eophyll 6-8- ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.
Livistona saribus is a variable species with some distinct regional forms, mainly expressed in fruit size, but otherwise unable to be reliably taxonomically differentiated on that basis. Dransfield (1999) noted the over-description of palm taxa based on political boundaries, with particular reference to L. saribus and its former synonyms, with L. hasseltii and L. hoogendorpii originally named for Java, and L. cochinchinensis for Peninsula Malaysia, Indochina and the Philippines. The taxonomy of L. saribus is the most complex for all the species of Livistona. There is also a paucity of type specimens, with only four of the eight names applied to the species having been typified. The mononomial Saribus was attributed by Rumphius (1741) to the vernacular name used by the Macassans of eastern Indonesia. Livistona saribus was first named as Corypha saribus (Loureiro, 1790) for plants collected in Vietnam, based on the specimen Loureiro s.n. but not able to be located and presumed lost (M. Pignal, pers. comm.). Because of the loss of the holotype, the neotype Pierre 4837 has been chosen. Livistona cochinchinensis was first named as Saribus cochinchinensis by Blume (1838), who based it in part on Loureiro's Corypha saribus and Brown's C. australis, and suggested that S. cochinchinensis was the appropriate name for the species occurring in Cochinchina (Vietnam). It was transferred to Livistona by Martius (1838) who similarly related it to Loureiro's C. saribus but also, in part, to Griffith's L. jenkinsiana. Miquel (1855) suggested that L. cochinchinensis was a synonym of L. chinensis, but did not elaborate. Beccari (1886) clearly recognised the conspecifity of L. cochinchinensis and L. saribus but refrained from making the appropriate combination based on the earliest name, stating "Il nome di L. cochinchinensis, è per questo da preferirsi, come più antico." This scheme was continued by Beccari (1921, 1931), despite the formalisation of Livistona saribus (Chevalier, 1919; Merrill,1925). However, most taxonomists have recently listed it as a synonym (Burret, 1936, 1941; Moore, 1963b; Pei et al., 1991). Livistona spectabilis was described by Griffith (1845) for plants collected from Malacca, Malaysia, possibly with the name referring to the remarkable height attained by the palm. The specimen cited by Griffith, "Mr. Lewes", correctly W.T.Lewis, is extant in BR. Wendland (1878) included the name as a synonym under L. rotundifolia; subsequently, Beccari (1886) included it as a synonym of L. cochinchinensis (= L. saribus); but later as a synonym of L. chinensis (Beccari, 1921). The protologue, the illustration included in Griffith (1850) and the specimens in BR confirm its correctsynonymy under L. saribus. The name L. hoogendorpii was first used by Teysmann & Binnendijk (1866) in a list of palms cultivated in Bogor Botanic Gardens, with no explanation for the choice of specific epithet. Miquel (1868) provided the first description thus formalising the name, and André (1874) described and illustrated juveniles in cultivation in Europe. Kerchove (1878) provided a brief description and an illustration of a juvenile plant. Beccari visited Bogor Botanic Gardens in May 1878 and collected specimens from the plants upon which Teysmann & Binnendijk established the name, and those specimens, sheets 11330 and 11330-B in FI are here chosen as the lectotype. Although the origin of the species remained unknown, Blatter (1926) noted the habitat as the "Indian Archipelago". Moore (1963b) was the first to designate L. hoogendorpii as a synonym of L. saribus. Livistona hasseltii was described by Hasskarl (1842) as Saribus hasseltii from a collection by van Hasselt s.n., from Batam Province in Indonesia, and named for the collector, the Dutch botanist, J.C. van Hasselt (1797-1823). Miquel (1868) provided the transfer to Livistona. The name has been applied to plants growing in Bogor Botanic Gardens, and cited in Backer & Bakhuizen van der Brink's (1968) Flora of Java, although with the proviso that it "...may be only a form of continental L. saribus...". Livistona inaequisecta was described by Beccari (1909) from the collection Curran 10079, from Luzon in the Philippines, and named for the ?unequally parted? leaves. Beccari (1919a) placed it as a synonym of L. cochinchinensis. Livistona tonkinensis was applied to a population in the Tonkin region of Vietnam by Magalon (1930) based on his own collection now in P, and is synonymised under L. saribus. Livistona saribus is a canopy palm to 40 m tall; leaves are large with grouped segments and deep divisions between the groups; segment apices are pendulous; there are long prominent spines on the petiole; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 9 partial inflorescences; flowers are yellow; and fruit are globose to ellipsoid to reniform, to 25 mm long, to 18 mm in diam., often bilobed, and glossy blue to purple at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.
Sunny, moist, but well drained position. Quite cold tolerant when older. Hardiness, zone: 9b
Comments and Curiosities
Phenology: Flowers Mar.-July; fruits June-Sept.
Conservation: Vulnerable. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.
"Great Livistona (though most are, in my opinion). This one has very large, deep-lime green, deeply split, nearly completely circular fan leaves that droop at the tips when a bit older. Its most striking feature are its monstrous, sharp black teeth that line the petioles (be very careful when trimming). It is not a great palm for full sun in the hot inland climate of So Cal, but it will survive. A maturing palm is growing nicely in the San Diego Zoo. Nearer the coast, and in Florida it does great in full sun. In even more tropical climates it is a fast and robust palm. In my garden in the San Fernando Valley this palm is growing pretty well in partial shade, but still only four feet tall after 10 years." (Geoff Stein)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
- Revision of Livistona (Arecaceae) in Australia, By Dr. A.N. Rodd
- Australian Palms, By John Leslie Dowe
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, 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.