Licuala ramsayi

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Licuala (lik-oo-AH-lah)
ramsayi (rahmz'-eh)
443512049 725c32aa5c z.jpg
Cape Tribulation Queensland, Australia. Photo by Ron.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Licuala (lik-oo-AH-lah)
ramsayi (rahmz'-eh)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Occurs in NEQ from about Cooktown, south to about Ingham. Altitudinal range from
Cape Tribulation Queensland, Australia. Photo by Ron.
near sea level to 1100 m. Occurs in rainforest, swamp forest, mangroves, littoral forest and in diverse riparian and riverine habitats, on various soil types.

The main areas where Licuala ramsayi naturally occurs is near Mission Beach (Licuala Rainforest), Tully, Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. However, pockets of Chakoro can also be found in the Bloomfield River area. This palm can grow to breathtaking heights and in the Licuala Rainforest, it appears as the main afforestation. In Australia, the latitudinal range of the tree is 11-19°S, it probably extend north to about 5°S. It occur at elevations between sea level and 450 m. It is mostly found within 20 km of the coast.


A medium sized, single stemmed palm, usually up to 15 m in height, though it can reach 25 m. The stem is normally quite straight and slender and up to 20 cm in diameter. The crown consists of large fan-shaped leaves. The leaves up to 2 meters long, with feather-like fronds give this palm a gracefull appearance. The leaflets are bright green above with a silvery underside. A handsome flower skirt has cream flowers, followed by red fruit. COMMON NAMES Wedge leaflet fan palm, Hessian hair fan palm.


The Australian Fan Palm likes a rainforest situation. A shady position and plenty of moisture is all what is needed to grow Licuala ramsayi successfully. This is one of the most cold tolerant of the Licuala's, (apart from L. spinosa), but is still a tropical/sub-tropical plant, and definitely not frost hardy. As a youngster it prefers quite heavy shade, but its an emergent plant so adults are sun-hardy. Unfortunately, it is a very slow grower, but its still a highly desirable plant for a warm shady nook. Tropical Moist Forest, Cold Hardiness Zone: 10 a

Comments and Curiosities

There are two subspecies;

External Links


Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos, edric.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos, edric.

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).

2005. The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi.

Barfod, A.S. & Dowe, J.L. (2005) Palms 49 (1): 20-21.

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

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