Livistona saribus (Lour.) Merr. ex A.Chev., Bull. Écon. Indochine , n.s., 21: 501 (1919)

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Laos, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Widespread, but rare in Laos, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Thailand and Malaysia because of forest clearance. In Indonesia confined to Batam, Sumatra and Kalimantan, and in the Philippines on Luzon Is., in Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac, Zambales and Laguna Provinces (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • In rainforest or swampforest as scattered individuals or in small to very large colonies, and occasionally in watercourses and adjacent lopes, at 0-600 m alt. Occurs in peatforest and mangroves in central Sumatra (Dransfield, 1974; Laumonier, 1997). Flowers Mar.-July; fruits June-Sept. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona saribus is a variable species with some distinct regional forms, mainly expressed in fruit size, but otherwise unable to be reliably taxonomically differentiated on that basis. Dransfield (1999) noted the over-description of palm taxa based on political boundaries, with particular reference to L. saribus and its former synonyms, with L. hasseltii and L. hoogendorpii originally named for Java, and L. cochinchinensis for Peninsula Malaysia, Indochina and the Philippines. The taxonomy of L. saribus is the most complex for all the species of Livistona. There is also a paucity of type specimens, with only four of the eight names applied to the species having been typified. The mononomial Saribus was attributed by Rumphius (1741) to the vernacular name used by the Macassans of eastern Indonesia. Livistona saribus was first named as Corypha saribus (Loureiro, 1790) for plants collected in Vietnam, based on the specimen Loureiro s.n. but not able to be located and presumed lost (M. Pignal, pers. comm.). Because of the loss of the holotype, the neotype Pierre 4837 has been chosen. Livistona cochinchinensis was first named as Saribus cochinchinensis by Blume (1838), who based it in part on Loureiro's Corypha saribus and Brown's C. australis, and suggested that S. cochinchinensis was the appropriate name for the species occurring in Cochinchina (Vietnam). It was transferred to Livistona by Martius (1838) who similarly related it to Loureiro's C. saribus but also, in part, to Griffith's L. jenkinsiana. Miquel (1855) suggested that L. cochinchinensis was a synonym of L. chinensis, but did not elaborate. Beccari (1886) clearly recognised the conspecifity of L. cochinchinensis and L. saribus but refrained from making the appropriate combination based on the earliest name, stating "Il nome di L. cochinchinensis, è per questo da preferirsi, come più antico." This scheme was continued by Beccari (1921, 1931), despite the formalisation of Livistona saribus (Chevalier, 1919; Merrill,1925). However, most taxonomists have recently listed it as a synonym (Burret, 1936, 1941; Moore, 1963b; Pei et al., 1991). Livistona spectabilis was described by Griffith (1845) for plants collected from Malacca, Malaysia, possibly with the name referring to the remarkable height attained by the palm. The specimen cited by Griffith, "Mr. Lewes", correctly W.T.Lewis, is extant in BR. Wendland (1878) included the name as a synonym under L. rotundifolia; subsequently, Beccari (1886) included it as a synonym of L. cochinchinensis (= L. saribus); but later as a synonym of L. chinensis (Beccari, 1921). The protologue, the illustration included in Griffith (1850) and the specimens in BR confirm its correctsynonymy under L. saribus. The name L. hoogendorpii was first used by Teysmann & Binnendijk (1866) in a list of palms cultivated in Bogor Botanic Gardens, with no explanation for the choice of specific epithet. Miquel (1868) provided the first description thus formalising the name, and André (1874) described and illustrated juveniles in cultivation in Europe. Kerchove (1878) provided a brief description and an illustration of a juvenile plant. Beccari visited Bogor Botanic Gardens in May 1878 and collected specimens from the plants upon which Teysmann & Binnendijk established the name, and those specimens, sheets 11330 and 11330-B in FI are here chosen as the lectotype. Although the origin of the species remained unknown, Blatter (1926) noted the habitat as the "Indian Archipelago". Moore (1963b) was the first to designate L. hoogendorpii as a synonym of L. saribus. Livistona hasseltii was described by Hasskarl (1842) as Saribus hasseltii from a collection by van Hasselt s.n., from Batam Province in Indonesia, and named for the collector, the Dutch botanist, J.C. van Hasselt (1797-1823). Miquel (1868) provided the transfer to Livistona. The name has been applied to plants growing in Bogor Botanic Gardens, and cited in Backer & Bakhuizen van der Brink's (1968) Flora of Java, although with the proviso that it "...may be only a form of continental L. saribus...". Livistona inaequisecta was described by Beccari (1909) from the collection Curran 10079, from Luzon in the Philippines, and named for the ?unequally parted? leaves. Beccari (1919a) placed it as a synonym of L. cochinchinensis. Livistona tonkinensis was applied to a population in the Tonkin region of Vietnam by Magalon (1930) based on his own collection now in P, and is synonymised under L. saribus. Livistona saribus is a canopy palm to 40 m tall; leaves are large with grouped segments and deep divisions between the groups; segment apices are pendulous; there are long prominent spines on the petiole; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 9 partial inflorescences; flowers are yellow; and fruit are globose to ellipsoid to reniform, to 25 mm long, to 18 mm diam., often bilobed, and glossy blue to purple at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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

Common Name

  • Serdang, Sar (Trengganu), Tarao (Cagayan Prov., Philippines). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Hermaphroditic palm. Trunk to 40 m tall, 15-65 cm dbh, leaf scars raised, internodes broad, petiole stubs persistent in the basal 2 m or so. Leaves 25- 30 in a ± globose crown; petiole arching, 100-200 cm long, to 12 cm wide in proximal portion, to 15 mm wide in distal portion, adaxially flat to slightly ridged, glabrous, green to green-purple to green-red, glossy, frequently with a reddish-purple longitudinal stripe; margins with large, single, retrorsely recurved, green to brown spines 10-60 mm long, largest and closer in the proximal portion; leaf-base fibres moderately fibrous, coarse, persistent; lamina costapalmate, irregularly segmented, with segments grouped and with divisions between each group of segments deeper into the lamina than the divisions between individual segments, subcircular, 80-200 cm long, 150-170 cm wide, adaxially green, abaxially a similar green; lamina divided into groups of 2-12 segments separated from adjacent groups by a deep split that almost reaches the hastula; lamina divided for 37-78% of its length, with 80-90 segments, depth of apical cleft 19-50% of the segment length, apical lobes pendulous; parallel veins 6-7 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, 60-230 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, curving, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 4-9, 45-60 cm long; prophyll not seen; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts loosely sheathing, glabrous; rachillae 15-45 cm long, drooping, yellow, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 3-5, 1.5-1.75 mm long, yellow; sepals suborbicular; petals broadly triangular, obtuse. Fruit globose, or ellipsoid to reniform, 11-25 mm long, 10-18 mm diam., often bilobed, glossy blue to purple; epicarp thin with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends for full length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp fleshy, 1.0- 1.5 mm thick; endocarp crustaceous; pedicel 1-3 mm long, ca 3 mm wide. Seed globose to ellipsoid, 9-24 mm long, 9-10 mm diam., apically pointed; endosperm intruded for ca half its width; embryo lateral. Eophyll 6-8- ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: VIETNAM: West Tonkin. Bonn 6184 (P); Cay Ki, Pierre 4837 (A, BO, K, L (neotype), P, UC); Cay Ki, Poilane 1222 (BO, P); Tonkin. Balansa 4366 (K); Tonkin. Rivieré Noire, 25 Jan 1930, Magalon s.n. (P); Location not specified, 3 Oct. 1936, Poilane s.n. (K); Location not specified, Jun 1918, Lecomte s.n. (P). KAMPUCHEA: Foret de Phnom Penh, 16 Feb 1934, Bejaud s.n. (K, P). THAILAND: Chiang Mai Prov. Road to Doi Chang Dao, 19º21?N, 98º47?E, 900-1100 m alt., Barfod 45208 with Pooma & Burholt (AAU, K, NY); Phitsanulok, 7 km E of Tung Salaeng Luang, 600 m alt., Larsen 792 with Smitinand & Warncke (AAU, BKF); Loei, 10 km W of Loei, Dowe 561 & 562 (JCT); Kabin Buri, 45 km N of Kabin Buri, Ban Numklae village, Dowe 564 (JCT); Prachinburi, Krabin, Bupram, 500 m alt., Kerr 9836 (AAU, BK, K, NY); 1 km NW of Wang Chan, 30 km from Klaeng, Dowe 570 (JCT); Chumphon, Bang Son, 100 m alt., Kerr 11342 (AAU, BM, K); Chumphon, 20 km N of Thai Sae, Dowe 567 & 568 (JCT); Ranong, Bang Mon Kapur, Klong Na Kha Wildlife Sanctuary, Smith 46 with Sumawong (K); Ranong, Klaeng, Nam Groi (outside N. P.), farmland on boundary of park, Smith 126 & 132 with Sumawong (AAU, K); Ranong. Pluak Daeng, Sukhaphiban Rd No. 9, 100 yards, Smith 144 with Sumawong (K); Trang, Muang, Tran Airport, Smith 78 with Sumawong (K); Songkhla, Kha Kok Hng, Hatyai, 07º00'N, 100º20'E, 150-250 m alt., Larsen 41280 (AAU); Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ta Sumet, less than 50 m alt., Kerr 14313 (BK, BM, K, NY). MALAYSIA: Malacca, 1843, Lewis s.n. (BR); Sabah. Abai, Kinabatangan, Keith 3429 (K); Perak. Gunong Pondok, ca 700 ft alt., 7 Jun 1930, Henderson s.n. (BO, SING); Selangor. Tanjong Karang, Sungai Tingi, low alt., Nur 34149 (A, BM, L, K, SING, US); Selangor. 5 Jul 1902, Burn-Murdoch s.n. (K); Selangor. Jugua, Burn-Murdoch 11352 (BM). INDONESIA: Kalimantan. Djaro Dam, Muara Uja, 100 m alt., Dransfield & Sauerudin 2141 & 2145 (BO, K); South Sumatra. Rasau, Waikambas Reserve, 10 m alt., Dransfield 1254 (BO); Java. Track to Tjibunar, Udjang Kulai, Dransfield 1459 (BO); Java. Bantam, Tjimura, Koorders 6123/3 (BO); Java. Koorders 35163 (BO). PHILIPPINES: Luzon. Nueva Vizcaya Prov., ca 350 m alt., Fernando 7286 (K); Luzon. Nueva Vizcaya Prov., Diadi, Magat, 350 m alt., Fernando EF671 (LBC); Luzon. Tarlac Prov., Vidal 1951 (K); Luzon. Zambales Prov., Pannubuan, hills between San Marcelino and Mt Pinatubo, Bartlett 14236 (K); Luzon. Zambales Prov., Dinahyihan, Loher 1390 (K); Luzon. Laguna Prov., Santa Maria Mavitae, Curran 10079 (PNH); Luzon. Laguna Prov., Tical, Cavinti, Loher 7508 (K).
    Specimens from cultivated material: Brazil: Gardens, Piracicaba, anon. s.n. (K); China: Yunnan Institute of Tropical Botany, Chen San-yang 18831 (K); Dominican Republic: Location not known, anon. 13 (K); Indonesia: Bogor Botanic Gardens, May 1878, Beccari s.n. (FI); Mauritius. Botanic Gardens, 1881, Horne s.n. (K); Philippines: Luzon, Laguna Prov., Los Baños Forestry Campus, Fernando 7359 (LBC); Singapore: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Lawn K, 22 Jun 1929, Nur s.n. (K); Singapore Botanic Gardens. Furtado 34149 (US); Sri Lanka: Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, S-16, Rutherford 54 with Bandara (K); Thailand: Trang, Khao Chong Gardens, Whitmore 3153 (K); Trang, Khao Chong, ca 15 km E of Trang, Peninsula Botanic Garden, Barfod 41588 with Ueachirakan (AAU, PSU); Trang, Khao Chong, Peninsula Botanic Garden, Barfod 737 with Pongsattayapipat (AAU); Vietnam : Saigon Botanic Garden, 3 Oct 1936, Poilane s.n. (P, PNH, UC). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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