Livistona fulva

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Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
fulva (FOOL-vah)
3765575758 71a158f023 z.jpg
Blackdown National Park, Blackdown Tableland, central Queensland, Australia. Photo by Dianne Hoy
Scientific Classification
Genus: Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nah)
fulva (FOOL-vah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Blackdown Fan Palm, Blackdown Tablelands Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Livistona fulva is from the Blackdown Tablelands west of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. Grows in moist sites in open forest and woodland, in gullies and gorges near streams and waterfalls at cliff bases; confined to sandstone areas, 400-900 m alt. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

2008, Blackdown Tableland, central Queensland, Australia. Photo by Wal

Livistona fulva occurs mainly along sandstone cliff-lines, on rocky foot-slopes below cliffs, in shallow rocky gullies of the Blackdown Tableland, and in deep sandstone gorges below major waterfalls around the edge of the plateau. Most occurrences are at altitudes between 300 and 600 m asl. The species grows in moderately tall eucalypt forest, dominated principally by a stringybark, Eucalyptus sphaerocarpa.


  • A very colourful Livistona, the lower surfaces of the leaves are an orange-bronze colour, as shown in these photos.

Functionally dioecious palm. Trunk to 13 m tall, 20-25 cm in diameter; breast high, leaf scars raised, internodes narrow, grey or brown, petiole stubs deciduous. Leaves 25-35 in a globose crown; petiole 150-250 cm long, 12-15 mm wide, adaxially moderately ridged, basal margins armed with single, curved black spines; leaf-base fibres moderately prominent, fine, persistent; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, circular in outline, 90-100 cm long, coriaceous, adaxially greyish green to glaucous, coppery brown floccose tomentum abaxially; lamina divided for 50-55% of its length, with 60-66 segments, depth of apical cleft 3-5% of the segment length, apical lobes acute to acuminate, rigid; parallel veins 8-9 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, not exually dimorphic, 100-230 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 7-9; peduncular bract 1, loosely sheathing, with orange-brown scales; rachis bracts loosely sheathing, with orange-brown scales; rachillae 5-16 cm long, papillose. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-3, funnel-shaped, yellow, 1.6-2 mm long; sepals narrowly triangular, 1.0-1.3 mm long, membranous, acute; petals broadly ovate, 1.6-2 mm long, thick, acute; stamens about 1.6 mm long. Fruit globose, 12-16 mm in diam., pruinose dull black; epicarp smooth; suture line not obvious; mesocarp thin, fibrous; endocarp thin, crustaceous. Seed globose, 10-13 mm wide. Eophyll 5-ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Livistona fulva was described by Rodd (1998) based on Rodd 3062 from Blackdown Tableland, and named for the coppery brown floccose tomentum on the abaxial surface of the leaf. The relationships of L. fulva are unclear, but it is most similar to L. muelleri in having a flat rigid lamina, to L. decora in inflorescence size and morphology, and to L. victoriae in overall size and fruit morphology. Livistona fulva is a moderate sub-canopy palm to 13 m tall; leaves are moderate and regularly segmented, and with coppery brown floccose tomentum abaxially; segment apices are rigid, and with a bifurcate cleft to only 5% of the segment length; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 9 partial inflorescences; bracts are loosely sheathing; flowers are yellow; fruit are globose to 16 mm in diam., and pruinose dull black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.


Growth rate: slow. Sunlight: full sun. Water: moderate. Cold Tolerance: 26° F. Seed or plant availability: rare in cultivation.

  • This has proven to be a very hardy palm throughout Queensland, surviving heat, cold, drought without so much as a brown leaf tip.

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Comments and Curiosities

Phenology: Flowers Sep-Feb; fruits Dec-May.

Conservation: Lower risk, conservation dependent. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

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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