Livistona concinna

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Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
concinna (kohn-SEEN-nah)
In habitat. Photo by Dr. J.L. Dowe
Scientific Classification
Genus: Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
concinna (kohn-SEEN-nah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Cooktown Livistona, Cooktown Fan Palm, Kennedy River Livistona.

Habitat and Distribution

Australia. Queensland. On Flinders Is, Kennedy R. and tributaries, Barrett Ck, north of Cooktown, and Archer Point.
In Mangrove margin habitat. Photo by Dr. J.L. Dowe
In seasonally moist open forest, seasonally inundated Melaleuca swamp, along creek and river banks, and at mangrove margins in non-saline environments at low elevations, 0-100 m alt. Soils are usually alluvial; grows with Corypha utan in the Kennedy R. area and with L. muelleri in the vicinity of Cooktown. Fire regularly occurs in most populations. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.


Dioecious palm. Trunk to 30 m tall, 24-35 cm in diameter; breast high, leaf scars raised; internodes narrow; grey, petiole stubs not persistent. Leaves 50-65 in a globose to conical crown; petioles 120-300 cm long, glabrous, green throughout, 5-11 cm wide proximally, 2.2-3.5 cm wide in mid area, about 2.8 mm wide distally, triangular in cross-section, adaxially moderately ridged, margins with solitary symmetric or retrorsely or latrorsely curved, black spines 3-5 mm long congested in the proximal portion, distal margin unarmed, sharp, slightly winged; leaf-base fibres not prominent, coarse, persistent; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, subcircular in outline, glabrous, adaxially midgreen, abaxially slightly lighter green, glossy on both surfaces, nonwaxy, subcircular in outline, 155-165 cm long, about 200 cm wide, undulate; lamina divided for about 60% of its length, with 60-78 segments, depth of apical cleft ca 41% of the segment length, apical lobes acuminate, filamentous, pendulous; hastula raised, sharp, papery on the margins; parallel veins 9-10 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, sexually dimorphic; nonfruit bearing (functionally male) inflorescences 120-180 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 4 orders, slightly curved with 8-9 partial inflorescences; peduncle 25 mm wide, 10 mm thick, glabrous; fruit bearing (functionally female) inflorescences 160-250 cm long, branched to 5 orders, slightly curved, held horizontal to semi-pendulous with 8-9 partial inflorescences; peduncle about 30 mm wide; peduncular bract(s) lacking; prophyll 27-35 cm long, glabrous; rachis bracts 30-50 cm long, tightly tubular, not disintegrating into open fibres but remaining intact with age, glabrous, apically acute, margins entire, lateral splits uneven, one about twice as deep as the other; rachillae 5-20 cm long, glabrous. Flowers, male and female similar in gross morphology, solitary or in clusters of 2-4, 1.6-2 mm high and 1.5-2 mm wide, white to cream; sepals basally fused, cupular, 3-lobed, lobes triangular, margins hyaline, to about 1.5 mm high, apices acute; petals triangular, slightly asymmetric, 2.0- 2.2 mm long, 1.8-2 mm wide at the base, apex acute; stamen about 1 mm high, filament subulate, connective 0.2 mm long; carpels about 1 mm high. Fruit globose, 9-12 mm in diam., shiny black; stigmatic remains subapical; epicarp smooth, with scattered lenticellular pores, drying slightly rugose; suture line extends for about ¾ the length of the fruit; mesocarp about 1 mm wide, moist, oily, gritty; endocarp thin, crustaceous, light brown, tessellate, 0.1- 0.2 mm wide; pedicel to 2 mm long. Seed globose to subglobose; intrusion extends to half or less of the width of the seed, contorted; embryo lateral to sublateral, about 2 mm long. Eophyll 5-ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

This taxon was placed tentatively under L. drudei by Rodd (1998), who cited three specimens, Irvine 2204 & 2205, and Hind 4594 that were collected in the distributional range of L. concinna. The latter consists of a fallen dead leaf and old infructescence. Dowe and Barfod (2001) described L. concinna based on Dowe 607, and named it in reference to the neat and regular appearance of the petioles in the crown. The species had been variously known as 'Livistona sp. Cooktown', 'Kennedy River Livistona' and 'Cooktown Fan Palm' in informal accounts (Irvine, 1984; Jones, 1996; Tucker, 1988). Livistona concinna is a large dioecious canopy palm to 30 m tall; leaves are large and regularly segmented; segment apices are pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft to 41% of the segment length; the inflorescences are unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown; male inflorescences to 180 cm long, branched to 4 orders, and with up to 9 partial inflorescences; female inflorescences to 250 cm long, branched to 5 orders, and with up to 9 partial inflorescences; bracts are tightly tubular; flowers are white to cream; fruit are globose, to 12 mm in diam., and shiny black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

Phenology: Flowers Dec-Mar; fruits Apr-Oct.

Conservation: Vulnerable. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

"This palm was recently described, and used to be known as Livistona sp. "Cooktown". It grows near this town in NE Queensland, hence the name. It can be noticed as a juvenile by its roostertail like frond, and rather slow growth. A few specimens exist and do well in Florida." (cfkingfish)

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).

Dowe, J.L., A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae). A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae).

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

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