Livistona benthamii F.M.Bailey, Queensl. Fl. 5: 1683 (1902)

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Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In Australia in the Northern Territory from Daly R. across the Top End to east Arnhem Land, and in Queensland from Moa Is. in Torres Strait through Cape York to McIlwraith Ra. In Papua New Guinea in the Western and Central Provinces, and in Indonesia in Papua, Merauke Division. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Grows in swamp forests, on alluvial flats, on the leeward side of mangroves and in moist to wet areas in monsoonal thickets and gallery forests at low elevations, 0-100 m alt. Flowers Sep-Jan; fruits Nov-Apr. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • As with L. muelleri, Bailey (1898) first described L. benthamii as a possible new variety of L. humilis, but subsequently described it based on the specimen Jardine s.n. (Bailey, 1902). Bailey noted "... I place this and a palmate-leaved palm from Cairns as varieties of Dr. Robt. Brown's Livistona humilis for the present: but hope to have full and complete material for a more satisfactory arrangement when working up the order for my work now in hand on the Queensland Flora...". In naming both L. benthamii and L. muelleri, Bailey (1902) wrote:"... give them specific rank bearing the names of the authors of the Flora Australiensis...". For the population occurring in the Northern Territory, Australia, Beccari (1921) provided the name L. holtzei based on Holtze s.n. and for New Guinea, Burret (1939) provided the name L. melanocarpa based on Brass 6310 collected from Western Prov., Papua New Guinea. Both of these taxa are attributable to L. benthamii. Livistona benthamii is a large canopy palm to 18 m tall, with long retained petiole stubs; leaves are moderate to large and regularly segmented; segment apices are pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft to 75% 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 tightly sheathing; flowers are whitish cream to pale yellow; fruit are globose to obovoid o pyriform, to 13 mm long to 11 mm wide, and pruinose purple black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Least concern. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Functionally dioecious palm. Trunk to 18 m tall, 13-20 cm dbh, leaf scars raised, internodes narrow, grey, petiole stubs long because of the abscission of leaves occurring in about the middle of the petiole; stubs persistent on the trunk for most of its length, unless decayed by age or fire. Leaves 30-50 in a globose crown; petiole 120-200 cm long, 10-18 mm wide, adaxially moderately ridged, margins with single curved black spines congested in the proximal portion; leaf-base fibres prominent, coarse, persistent; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, circular, 90-160 cm long, chartaceous, adaxially dark green, abaxially lighter green, glossy, nonwaxy; lamina divided for 60-75% of its length, with 50-80 segments, depth of apical cleft 60-75% of the segment length, apical lobes acute, pendulous; parallel Inflorescences unbranched at the base, not sexually dimorphic, 120-210 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 2 orders; 7-9 partial inflorescences; prophyll not seen; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts tightly sheathing, light brown, with sparse scurfy silver scales; rachillae 5-12 mm long, patchily pubescent. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-3, tubular, whitish/cream to pale yellow; sepals triangular, 0.8-2 mm long, membranous, acute; petals broadly triangular, 1.0-1.3 mm long, fleshy, acute; stamens ca 1 mm long. Fruit globose to obovoid or pyriform, 9-13 mm long, 9-11 mm diam., pruinose purple-black; epicarp smooth, suture line extends for the length of the fruit; pedicel 2-3 mm long. Seed ovoid, 8-9 mm long. Eophyll not seen. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory. Port Darwin, undated (1882?), Holtze & Holtze s.n. (FI); Darwin, Black Jungle, Trapnell 105 (BRI); Koolpinyah, Bankers Jungle, Dowe 220 (JCT); S of Koolpinyah, 13º32'S, 131º14'E, Blake 16967 (BRI, K, L); Howard R., Must 1150 (CANB, DNA); Kakadu NP, Cooinda, Home Billabong, Dowe 206 (BRI); Elcho Is., Warangaiyu Lagoon, 11º57'S, 135º43?'atz 6273 (BRI, CANB, DNA, K, L); Elcho Is., Maconochie 2119A & 2119B (CANB, DNA, NSW); Howard Springs, ca 3 km N of Howard Springs, 23 km E of Darwin, 12º25'S, 131º03'E, Rodd 2904 & 2905 (DNA, K, NSW, QRS); Howard Springs, E of Stuart Hwy, Beauglehole 10970 (MEL); Fright Pt, E of Darwin, Ginger Palmers Camp, Tracey 14045 (BRI); (Port Darwin), Holtze 539 (MEL); Oenpelli, 12º18?S, 133º04?E, Specht 1187 (AD, BRI, CANB, K, MEL, US); Jim Jim Ck, Jacobs 1790 (NSW); East Alligator R., Obiri Rock, Maloney 1978 (NSW). Queensland. Torres Strait, Saibai Is., Stocker 1397 (QRS); Lockerbie Scrub, Bamaga-Pajinka Rd, ca 15 km S of Pajinka, 10º48?S, 142º29?E, 20 m alt., Dowe 406 with Smith (JCT); Somerset, Dec 1897, Jardine s.n. (BRI holotype); Cape York, 7 miles NE of Bamaga, Long Scrub, Webb 6122 with Tracey (BRI); Swamp Ck, Irvine 1887 (QRS); Jardine R., N bank, near Peninsula Development Rd crossing, Hind 377 (NSW); Archer R., gallery forest, Hyland 7604 (QRS); Archer Bend, near junction of Archer R. and Coen R., Webb 13470 (BRI); Archer Bend NP, Smyth s.n. (BRI). INDONESIA: Papua, Merauke Division. Wasur NP, Kali Maro, Widjaja, Wally & Subari EW6031 (BO); Papua, Merauke Division. Wasur Village 2, Maturbongs MAT661 with Wanggai & Wally (AAU, BO, CANB, K, MAN). PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Central Prov. Ca 7 miles W of Kanosia Plantation, Kairuku, ca 10 ft alt., Darbyshire 685 (A, BO, BRI, CANB, K, L, LAE); Waigani Swamp, 9º30'S, 147º10'E, Gillison 22018 (A, BRI, CANB, L); Brown R., 9º15'S, 147º20'E, 100 ft alt., Millar 38385 (BRI, CANB, K, L, LAE); Brown R., ca 6 miles W of Karema, 50 ft alt., Schodde 2677 (BO, BRI, CANB, K, LAE). Western Prov., Daru Is., Brass 6310 (A, BM, BO, BRI, L); Upper Wassi Kussa R., left branch, Brass 8645 (A, BM, BO, BRI, L); Bula village at mouth of Morehead R., Pullen 7027 (CANB, L, LAE); Daru Is., Brass 6406 (A, BM, BRI, L); Daru Is., 9º05'S, 143º10'E, 2 m alt., Streimann & Lelean 18472 (L, LAE); Balimo District, 20 km NW of Daru, Paijmans 1523 (CANB). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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