Livistona speciosa

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Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
speciosa (spehs-ee-OH-sah)
021204Livistoniaspec.jpg
Photo-Hiroshima-u.ac.jp
Scientific Classification
Genus: Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
Species:
speciosa (spehs-ee-OH-sah)
Synonyms
None set.
Native Continent
Asia
Asia.gif
Morphology
Habit: Solitary.
Leaf type: Palmate
Culture
Survivability index
Common names
Mountain Serdang Palm, Kho (ค้อ) (Northern, Prachuap Khiri Khan); Ko lae (ก๊อแล่) (Chiang Mai); Tho (ทอ) (Karen-Mae Hong Son); Nang klang chae (นางกลางแจ๊ะ), Ma ko suam (มะก๊อซ่วม), Ma ko daeng (มะก๊อแดง) (Northern); Lo-la (โล้ล่ะ), Lu-la (หลู่หล่า) (Karen-Mae Hong Son); Si reng (สิเหรง) (Pattani)

Habitat and Distribution

Bangladesh, Chittagong; Burma, Pegu Yoma and Tenasserim;
Photo by "Olivier Reilhes"
China, Guangdong, Fengkai, and Hainan Is. at Mo San; throughout Thailand at 400-900 m alt.; and Peninsula Malaysia, on Langkawi Is., Gunung Inas to Genting Sempah in the west and Gunung Stong and Gunung Mandi Angin in the east at 700-1200 m alt. Moderately common in moist to wet Forest. In high rainfall areas in moist evergreen forest, at 200-3000 m altitude. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

Description

Hermaphroditic, Solitary palm. Trunk to 25 m tall, 20-30 cm in diameter, breast high, leaf scars lightly raised, light grey, petiole stubs sometimes persistent, particularly at the base, otherwise smooth, longitudinal fissures not evident. Leaves 40-50 in a globose or oblong crown; petiole slightly arching, 140-159 cm long, 20-25 mm wide distally, adaxially slightly concave to flat, abaxially convex, margins armed throughout with single retrorsely, recurved orange-brown spines to 25 mm long, to 10 mm wide at the base, base frequently swollen, apically acute, spines reducing in size to tubercles toward the apex; leafbase fibres moderately prominent, coarse, persistent; appendage to 25 cm long; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, circular to subcircular in outline, 150-200 cm long, to 200 cm wide, adaxially green, abaxially glaucous grey; lamina divided for 25-75% of its length, with about 100 segments, depth of apical cleft 3-4% of the segment length, 3.5-8 cm wide where the segments diverge, apical lobes rigid; basal segments overlap at the hastula; parallel veins 9-10 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins; hastula cordate. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, 120-200 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 3-6, 40-60 cm long; prophyll 30-45 cm long, woody, keeled; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts loosely tubular, reddish-brown, glabrous, expanded distally into lanceolate acuminate lobes, sometimes longitudinally split, scurfy to glabrous; rachillae 10-20 cm long, 3-4 mm in diameter, spreading to drooping or rigid, yellow-green, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 5-6, sessile, greenish cream, carried on small, sessile tubercles, broadly ovate in bud, to 2.5 mm long; sepals fused basally, fleshy, 1.2-2 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm wide, semi-ovate, subacute, with subhyaline margins; petals basally fused, thick, deltoid, acute, 2.5-4 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide; stamens with briefly basally fused filaments, partly adnate to the petals, thick and short, contracted into elongate apices, connective very short, narrow; anthers suboribiculardidymous; carpel turbinate-obconical, yellow, distinctly sculptured, and contracted into a short trisulcate, filiform style to 2.5 mm long, stigma simple. Fruit obovate, obpyriform, to ovoid, rounded apically, narrowed basally, 25-35 mm long, 18-25 mm in diam., greenish-blue to light-blue at maturity; epicarp less than 1 mm wide, with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends full length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp thinly woody, brittle, whitish within; endocarp woody, brittle, to 1 mm wide. Seed oblong-elliptical, rounded at both ends, to 17 mm long, to 12 mm wide; intruded to more than half the width of the endosperm; embryo lateral. Eophyll 7- ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Culture

Growth rate: slow. Sunlight: gradual sun. Water: keep moist. Cold Tolerance: 26° F. Hardiness, zone: 9b

Comments and Curiosities

Phenology: Flowers Jul-Aug; fruits Oct-Nov.

Conservation: Near threatened. (Dowe, J.L.)

This beautiful and stately palm from the montane forests of Thailand, Burma, and Malaysia produces a dense crown of very large, flat, circular leaves that are only shallowly divided, and a tall, columnar, gray trunk. The large seeds are easy to germinate and plants are suitable for a wide range of climates, from warm temperate to tropical. It is still rarely seen in cultivation, but has enormous potential as a landscape plant. Livistona speciosa is quite similar to L. jenkinsiana. (RPS.com)


External Links

References

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.

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