Oraniopsis appendiculata

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Oraniopsis (ohr-rahn-ee-OP-sis)
Photo-Photo-Plumtree Pocket Enterprises, Queensland, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Kristopher Kupsch.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Oraniopsis (ohr-rahn-ee-OP-sis)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Bronze Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Queensland, Australia. Oraniopsis appendiculata occurs in rain forests of mountain
"It is rare to see O. appendiculata so open and exposed, above the canopy. The very tattered state of the fronds attests to the windiness of the microclimate part way up Mt. Lewis." (tanetahi) Photo by tanetahi.
ranges between the upper Tully River area (15°40'S), northwards to the Big Tableland (17°50'S) about 25 km south of Cooktown with the most inland occurrence being on the Great Dividing Range, southwest of Atherton, some 75 km inland, above 1,100 m altitude. The species occurs mostly above 300 m up to ca. 1,500 m altitude, and also in narrow gorges and gullies at the foot of abruptly descending coastal ranges, but does not extend on to the broader coastal plains. Rainfall is mostly above 1,800 mm per annum, with frequent cloud mist compensating rainfall in the 1,800 mm regions. Soil types are mostly of granitic and metamorphic origin; the palm also occurs on shallow basaltic soils with impeded drainage. The palm is usually absent from deep, well-drained basalt soils. It occurs in the following rain forest types (Tracey and Webb 1975): Simple Microphyll Vine Fern Thicket, Simple Notophyll Vine Forest, Upland Mesophyll Vine Forest and Complex Mesophyll Vine Forest. Seeds begin to germinate after 200400 days, but some may continue to germinate 3-4 years after sowing. The palm is very slow growing and seems to stay in the rosette stage for at least 20-30 years. In dense rain forest rosettes may even be twice this age with erect leaves 3-8 m long. Unless growth rates accelerate markedly when a trunk is produced, tall stemmed individuals must be several hundred years old. (J. Dransfield. 1985)/Palmweb.


Trunk up to 20 m tall, 20-45 cm in diam. at breast height, gray, irregularly marked with leaf scars. Leaves about 8-15 in crown, up to about 6 m long; sheathing base cuplike, rather short about 20 cm wide at the base, tapering to about 15 cm wide, and then narrowing into the petiole; petiole up to about 65 cm long, up to about 7.0 x 6.0 em in section, the margins ± winged, about 12 cm deep, sharp, abaxially brown tomentose; rachis becoming adaxially ridged at about half its length; leaflets up to about 110 on each side of the rachis, the apical pair composed of 2-4 folds, the rest all singlefold, basal leaflets about 15-20 x 0.5-0.8 cm, mid-leaf leaflets to about 100 x 4.5 cm, apical pair up to about 43 x 4.5 cm, leaflets held at about 60°


Warm, sheltered and moist. Likes a rich, well drained, loamy soil, with high humidity. Unfortunately this palm is painfully slow growing which has severely hampered its take up as a garden plant. Can take light frost. Cold Hardiness Zone: 9b

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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 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).

J. Dransfield, Oraniopsis appendiculata, a Previously Misunderstood Queensland Palm. 1985. 1985. Oraniopsis appendiculata, a Previously Misunderstood Queensland Palm. Principes 29:56-63.

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

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