Licuala cordata

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Licuala (lik-oo-AH-lah)
cordata (kohr-DAH-tah)
Jeff Marcus Garden (Floribunda Palms). Photo by Paul Craft
Scientific Classification
Genus: Licuala (lik-oo-AH-lah)
cordata (kohr-DAH-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate, entire.
Survivability index
Common names
Malesiana Palm

Habitat and Distribution


Cairns, Queensland. Australia. 'Split leaf' form, flowers after ten years. Photo by Steve.


A rare forest species endemic to central Sarawak. The leaves of this beautiful fan palm are glossy dark green and have overlapping bases which gives them a nearly circular shape. This palm is generally much smaller growing and more compact than the related L. orbicularis. Editing by edric.


Tropical Moist Forest, A tropical lowland plant requiring high humidity, and a minimum temperature of 20 C for good growth. Prefers rich but well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Cold Hardiness Zone: 10b

Comments and Curiosities

There are two subspecies, Licuala cordata var. cordata, Borneo. Licuala cordata var. ashtonii (2012), Borneo.

A dwarf fan palm native to rainforests in Sarawak on Borneo with leaves that are usually undivided and somewhat heart-shaped or completely round, so much so that often the blade is even overlapping at the base. They are very neatly pleated and give the palm a unique and most desirable appearance that make it one of the palms most sought-after by collectors. It does best in a sheltered spot in the tropics. (

"L. cordata will test your patience when it comes to the world of palm germination. The seed does not seem to have a short viability, but it will take FOREVER to pop, even for a Licuala. I had some germinating when I left for Miami in May of 08 that had a sown tag of October of 05. They never rotted, and the high heat didn't change anything. They also are slow and fickle at most points of their life. It really comes down to how much you love the palm." (Christian Faulkner)

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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