Lanonia dasyantha

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Lanonia (lah-non-EE-ah)
dasyantha (dahs-EE-ahn-tah)
NSW. Australia. Photo by Luke Nancarrow.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Lanonia (lah-non-EE-ah)
dasyantha (dahs-EE-ahn-tah)
Incorrectly known as Licuala radula.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary & clustering.
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Vietnamese Paradise Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Vietnam. Lowland rain forests on steep mountain slopes of granite or quartzite
Clayton York's Garden, Utopia Palms & Cycads, Queensland, Australia. Wal giving scale. Photo by Wal.
rocks; alt. 100-1000 m. Guangxi, Yunnan province.


Stems solitary or clustered, to 1.5 m tall, to 6 cm in diam., sometimes short and subterranean. Leaf sheaths 12-20 cm, extended above petioles into 6-15 cm ocreas; petioles 15-100 cm, unarmed or proximal about half with widely spaced, recurved, brown spines to 0.5 cm; blades 30-107 cm wide, split into 5-8(-13) segments, mottled light and dark green, with straight sides; middle segment wider than others, deeply split into 2 lobes, these 16-58 cm, 13-30 cm wide at apices, costa terminating in a glandlike structure abaxially at base of split. Plants dioecious. Inflorescences 40-70 cm, erect at first, later pendulous below crown; rachis 0-12 cm, with 1 (rarely 2) partial inflorescences, these branched to 1 order; male rachillae 2-7, 9-14 cm; female rachillae 1-4, 8-24 cm; male flowers borne in clusters, female flowers solitary. Fruits ovoid-globose, slightly 3-sided, 0.9-1.5 × 0.7-1.1 cm, red at maturity, with reflexed perianth. ( Editing by edric.


Licuala dasyantha (Now Lanonia dasyantha), incorrectly known as Licuala radula before, is a vulverable species now listed on the endangered and protected list. It was first found in a limestone mountain as a small, clumping palmate palm up to 2m tall, with attractive mottled leaves,though not as highly developed as Mapu. It is monoecious (having separate male and female reproductive units on the same plant) whose seeds are mature in November. Different from other tropical Licuala, Licuala dasyantha is probably the most cold hardy in its genus and more interesting is that it has striking yellow dots and rings on the leaves making them quite cute and beautiful.. Say in 2002, the 1 year old seedling and adult palms did get notice any damage after 2 continuous raining days as low as -2C(28.4F) in Guilin City, Guangxi Province where the lowest temerpature goes down to -5C. (

Comments and Curiosities

Previous name Licuala dasyantha.

This little known small palm is native to rainforests in northern Vietnam between 100 and 1000 m and reaches just over the border into southern China (Guangxi). It forms an underground or briefly erect trunk to 1.5 m tall that holds a dense crown of fairly large, beautifully mottled, light and dark green leaves to 1 m in diameter with a few wide segments, similar to the magnificent L. mattanensis Mapu. While not as spectacular as the ultra-tropical Mapu, it has the advantage of being much more tolerant of cool conditions and will actually grow successfully not only in tropical but also in warm temperate climates, where it appreciates a protected spot in filtered light. (

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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