Normanbya F.Muell. ex Becc., Ann. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg 2: 91 (1885)

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Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Queenslandpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B


  • Normanbya can be immediately recognised by the irregularly arranged, longitudinally divided leaflets with 7–9 segments. Wodyetia has a similar leaf but with regularly arranged leaflets divided into more (11–17) segments. In Normanbya, the leaflets also bear white woolly scales abaxially, the outer endocarp has a few thin fibres rather than many large fibres and the endosperm is ruminate rather than homogeneous. Structurally, the leaves become plumose by the longitudinal splitting of a single leaflet. Such division of leaflets is unusual in palms, occurring elsewhere only in certain genera of the Iriarteeae. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A


Biology And Ecology




  • Moderate to tall, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, moderate, ringed with distinct leaf scars, vertically striate, grey, bulbous basally. Leaves pinnate, plumose, loosely arching; sheath forming a prominent crownshaft, pale, ashy grey, brownish near the top; petiole short or nearly lacking, channelled adaxially, rounded abaxially, densely covered with whitish tomentum and scattered brown, tattered scales; rachis long, arching, ± rounded adaxially and abaxially, densely covered in tattered brown scales; leaflets single-fold, irregularly arranged, divided nearly to the base into 7–9 linear segments, with or without midribs and with 1–3 large veins, apices of segments praemorse, only outermost 2 of each group with thickened margins, blade appearing dark green adaxially, bluish-white abaxially, adaxial surface glabrous, abaxial densely covered with uniseriate, medifixed scales, transverse veinlets not evident. Inflorescences infrafoliar, divaricate, somewhat pendulous in fruit, branched to 2 (or more) orders; peduncle short; prophyll tubular, rather narrow, 2-keeled laterally; peduncular bract like the prophyll, both deciduous; rachis bracts low, ridge-like, subtending spirally arranged, stout, angled branches and terete rachillae; rachilla bracts low, ridge-like, subtending triads basally, paired and solitary staminate flowers distally; floral bracteoles low, rounded. Staminate flowers symmetrical, bullet-shaped in bud, borne lateral to the pistillate on short, laterally flattened stalks; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, rounded, upper margins ± truncate, minutely toothed; petals 3, distinct, valvate, ovate, evenly thickened; stamens 24–40, filaments short, awl-shaped, anthers elongate, shortly bifid apically, dorsifixed almost at the base, ± introrse, connective elongate, tanniniferous; pistillode flask-shaped with long narrow neck, slightly longer than the stamens, apically expanded. Pollen ellipsoidal asymmetric, occasionally pyriform; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis 64–83 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers ovoid; sepals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate, rounded pink to purplish-brown at maturity, stigmatic remains apical forming a with short pointed tips, margins slightly fringed; petals 3, like the sepals short beak; epicarp somewhat fleshy, drying wrinkled, mesocarp rather but longer and with short valvate tips; staminodes 3, broadly tooth-like; thin, with longitudinal, branched, straw-coloured fibres adherent to the gynoecium narrowly ovoid, unilocular, uniovulate, narrowing shortly smooth endocarp. Seed laterally attached with a long unbranched raphe, above the ovarian region to 3, large reflexed stigmas, ovule pendulous, hilum lateral, endosperm ruminate; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-form unknown. Fruit ovoid to obpyriform, pointed distally, dull salmon-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology not studied. (J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008)A