Caryota albertii

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Australian Fishtail Palm

Caryota (kahr-ee-OH-tah)
albertii (ahl-BEHRT-ee)
P070291 3z.jpg
North Queensland.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Caryota (kahr-ee-OH-tah)
albertii (ahl-BEHRT-ee)
Caryota rumphiana var. australiensis, Caryota rumphiana var. australiensis.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Bi-pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Australian Fishtail Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Caryota albertii is endemic to Queensland, Australia. It is found in Low altitude
North Queensland.
Rainforest clearings. Occurs in CYP, from the Mungkan Kandju National Park northwards. Altitudinal range from 60-300 m. Grows in lowland rainforest, vine forest, and swamp forest. Also from the Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea to the Solomon Islands.


The Australian Fishtail Palm, is a fast growing single trunked palm, Stem 10-18 m. tall, and up to 45 cm. in diam., breast high. Dark tan to grey, with widely spaced rings. Crownshaft absent. The leaf crown is large with 3-7 m. long, bipinnate dark green leaves, somewhat glaucous on abaxial surface. Petiole unarmed and up to 90 cm. long. The pinnae are linearly obdeltoid, to nearly linear, plicate, oblique, and with jagged apices, up to 58 cm. long and pendulous. Inflorescence pendulous, 1.5-2.0 m. long, many branched, spikes with yellowish cream colored flowers. Two male flowers, and a single female flower grouped together. Outer segments of the male flower imbricate, rotund, ciliate, 4-5 mm. in diam., three inner segments valvate, 12-14 mm. long and very hard. Stamens 30+. The plant is monocarpic and dies after flowering. Fruit 2-3.5 cm. long, round, and dark red to blackish when mature. One to three smooth black seeds. Editing by edric.


It grows too large for a small garden but is a magnificent palm for parks and large gardens.

Comments and Curiosities

This a monocarpic species.

Used as a food source (Sago) in the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia. Often planted as an ornamental in Australia.

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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