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Etymology: Livistona is the Latin term for "Livingston," the Scottish city where in 1670 Patrick Murray, a gardener and nobleman, helped found the Edinburgh Botanic Garden with his collection of plants. (, edric.

Livistona are palmate palms primarily native to Australia, and nearby southeast and east Asia.

Functionally dioecious vs. hermaphroditic.

"Functionally dioecious: when all plants in a population appear to have morphologically similar bisexual flowers, but certain plants act as males and others as females. In the male plants, the anthers produce pollen but the female parts are not able to be fertilized either with pollen from the same plant or from other plants. In female plants, fertile pollen is also produced and the female parts are either fertilized by is own pollen or from pollen from other plants. The barriers that stop the female parts of the flowers in the male plants from working properly are not known in Livistona, but in other plants [non-palms] it is often a chemical or micro-morphology barrier that prevents fertilization. However, sometimes I have noticed that a few flowers on male plants produce fruit, so the separation between plants being exclusively female or exclusively male, i.e. dioecy, (such as in the Borassoids and other dioecious palms) has not yet fully evolved in functionally dioecious species. Some theories suggest that this is a stage in the evolution toward strict dioecy. So in Livistona there is indeed a continuum from hermaphroditism (e.g. L. rotundifolia, L. chinensis etc.), through functional dioecy (most of the Australian species) and dioecy (e.g. L. humilis and L. concinna).It appears that female plants of all species are capable of self-fertilisation, both from anecdotal evidence and some research I did as part of my PhD in the late 1990s. Most single male plants remain fruitless, or only produce the odd few fruit.

I hope this helps." Dr. John Leslie Dowe.

Living with Livistonas.
Living with Livistonas.
Hawaii. Livistona muelleri Photo by Paul Craft.