Licuala ramsayi var. tuckeri Barfod & Dowe, Palms (1999+) 49: 21 (2005)

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Distribution

Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/tdwg/geogrphy.html)
Queenslandpresent (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Distributed in northern Queensland, from Moa Island in Torres Strait, throughout coastal or near-coastal Cape York Peninsula, to about north of Cooktown, with population centers in Lockerbie Scrub, Jardine R., Nesbit R., Wenlock R., Iron Range and Silver Plains area. (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Discussion

  • Licuala ramsayi var. tuckeri has become common in cultivation and is reputedly more amenable to cultivation than L. ramsayi var. ramsayi. The new variety is also reported to flower and fruit throughout the year, unlike L. ramsayi var. ramsayi in which flowering and fruiting is sporadic and may not occur every year. Apart from Gorman (1996), who provided a demographic study of the population at Mission Beach, there has been no ecological research of the species. Gorman's study suggested that L. ramsayi [in the Mission Beach population] did not conform to a classic "reverse-J" population curve expected of palms and that regeneration patterns may be linked to cyclonic events and periodic major disturbance. Dowe (1992b) provided some preliminary observations on leaf morphology, structure and growth patterns. Research on aspects such as phenology, pollination and population dynamics has yet to be carried out on this species. (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Etymology

  • Named for horticulturist, botanical illustrator and taxonomist (Pandanaceae) Robert James Thomas (1955-1992), landscape designer for Townsville Botanic Gardens, 1982-1992, and designer of The Palmetum, Townsville, a botanic garden devoted to palms. Tucker collected palms and Pandanus throughout Cape York Peninsula and was the author of The Palms of Subequatorial Queensland (Tucker 1988) and taxonomic works on the Australian Pandanaceae. (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Description

  • Solitary palm; leaf sheath remains attached to the leaf; petiole unarmed or with few, small spines at the base; flowers mostly solitary; floral buds bullet shaped at anthesis; calyx sclereified and truncate basally; floral buds bullet shaped before anthesis; anthers 0.3-0.4 mm long, persistent and conspicuous long after anthesis in between corolla lobes; corolla apex turning black after anthesis. (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Materials Examined

  • AUSTRALIA. Queensland. Torres Strait, Moa Island, Moa Peak, N end of island, 11 Feb. 1989, 374 m alt., D.L.Jones 3592 (CANB); Cape York, 2.7 km SWW of Bamaga, 26 Oct. 1965, L.S. Smith 12488 (BRI); Somerset, Cape York Peninsula, 10°40'S, 142°30'E, Dec. 1897, F.L. Jardine s.n. (BRI); Bamaga-Pajinka Rd., km 16, 10°47'S, 142°30'E, 29 Sep. 1999, J.L. Dowe and Barfod 601 (AAU, BRI); Heathlands, Eliot Creek, 10 km N of Captain Billy Landing turnoff, 29 Aug. 1996, J.L. Dowe 372 (BRI); Iron Range, 12°40'S, 143°10'E, alt. 40 m, 20 Jun. 1948, L.J. Brass19267 (A, BRI, CANB, L); Iron Range National Park, 12°44'S, 143°13'E, 2 Oct. 1999, J.L. Dowe and Barfod 603 (AAU, BRI); Tozers Gap, upper W Claudie River or tributary, Kennedy Rd, 150 m alt., 20 Aug. 1973, P. Hind 318 (NSW); 11 km from Rocky River crossing towards Chester River, 13°44'S, 143°29'E, 21 Jun. 1979, G. Butler 280 (CANB); McIlwraith Ra., Headwaters of Massey Creek near old mining site, 13°50'S, 143°20'E, Oct. 1969, L.J. Webb and J.G. Tracey 9178 (BRI); Silver Plains, N of Rocky Creek, 13°55'S, 143°20'E, alt. 80 m, 13 Sep. 1971, A.K. Irvine 68 (BRI, QRS); N of Edward River Community, 14°55'S, 141°38'E, 6 Dec. 1979, W.C. Clarke WCC1019 (BRI); swamp forest, E of runway, Cooktown, 15°33'S, 145°12'E, 3 Oct. 1999, J.L. Dowe and Barfod 605 (AAU, BRI). (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A
  • Australia. Queensland. Cape York Peninsula, Lockerbie Scrub, south of Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, 10°45'S, 142°33'E, 29 Sept. 1999, J.L. Dowe 602 & A.S. Barfod (Holotype BRI; isotype AAU).
    (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Ecology

  • Occurs as a sub-canopy element in rainforest, swamp forest, mangroves, and in diverse riparian and riverine habitats, on various soil types. Flowers and fruits throughout the year. (Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005)A

Bibliography

A. Dowe & Barfod, The enigmatic Australian Fan-Palm Licuala ramsayi in Palms (1999+) Palms, 49. 2005
B. World Checklist of Arecaceae