Livistona speciosa Kurz, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 43(2): 204 (1874)

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Bangladesh, Chittagong; Burma, Pegu Yoma and Tenasserim; China, Guangdong, Fengkai, and Hainan Is. at Mo San; throughout Thailand at 400-900 m alt.; and Peninsula Malaysia, on Langkawi Is., Gunung Inas to Genting Sempah in the west and Gunung Stong and Gunung Mandi Angin in the east at 700-1200 m alt. Moderately common in moist to wet Forest. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • In high rainfall areas in moist evergreen forest, at 200-3000 m altitude. Flowers Jul-Aug; fruits Oct-Nov. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona speciosa was described by Kurz (1874) from the mountains of Pegu Yoma of central Myanmar, based on Kurz 3331. Although Kurz did not specifically record himself as the collector of the specimen from Pegu Yoma, it is hereby accepted as the holotype as reference to the Pegu Yoma collection is sufficient to confirm the connection. This taxon?s similarity to L. jenkinsiana was noted by Kurz in the protologue, although Beccari (1931), still noting a close relationship between the taxa, provided descriptions of some characters that he considered readily separated the species. Livistona fengkaiensis was the name given to a population occurring in the mountains of the Fengkai area in Guandong, southern China, based on the collection Fengkai Exped. 1587. Livistona speciosa is a large canopy palm to 25 m tall; leaves are large and regularly segmented; segment apices are rigid, and with a bifurcate cleft to 4% of the segment length; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 6 partial inflorescences; bracts are loosely tubular; flowers are greenish cream; fruit are obovate, obpyriform to ovoid, to 35 mm long to 25 mm wide, and greenish blue to light blue at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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


  • Hermaphroditic palm. Trunk to 25 m tall, 20-30 cm dbh, leaf scars lightly raised, light grey, petiole stubs sometimes persistent, particularly at the base, otherwise smooth, longitudinal fissures not evident. Leaves 40-50 in a globose or oblong crown; petiole slightly arching, 140-159 cm long, 20- 25 mm wide distally, adaxially slightly concave to flat, abaxially convex, margins armed throughout with single retrorsely recurved orange-brown spines to 25 mm long, to 10 mm wide at the base, base frequently swollen, apically acute, spines reducing in size to tubercles toward the apex; leafbase fibres moderately prominent, coarse, persistent; appendage to 25 cm long; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, circular to subcircular in outline, 150-200 cm long, to 200 cm wide, adaxially green, abaxially glaucous grey; lamina divided for 25-75% of its length, with ca 100 segments, depth of apical cleft 3-4% of the segment length, 3.5-8 cm wide where the segments diverge, apical lobes rigid; basal segments overlap at the hastula; parallel veins 9-10 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins; hastula cordate. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, 120-200 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 3-6, 40-60 cm long; prophyll 30-45 cm long, woody, keeled; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts loosely tubular, reddish-brown, glabrous, expanded distally into lanceolate acuminate lobes, sometimes longitudinally split, scurfy to glabrous; rachillae 10-20 cm long, 3-4 mm diameter, spreading to drooping or rigid, yellow-green, glabrous. Flowers in clusters of 5-6, sessile, greenish cream, carried on small, sessile tubercles, broadly ovate in bud, to 2.5 mm long; sepals fused basally, fleshy, 1.2-2 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm wide, semi-ovate, subacute, with subhyaline margins; petals basally fused, thick, deltoid, acute, 2.5-4 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide; stamens with briefly basally fused filaments, partly adnate to the petals, thick and short, contracted into elongate apices, connective very short, narrow; anthers suboribiculardidymous; carpel turbinate-obconical, yellow, distinctly sculptured, and contracted into a short trisulcate, filiform style to 2.5 mm long, stigma simple. Fruit obovate, obpyriform, to ovoid, rounded apically, narrowed basally, 25-35 mm long, 18-25 mm diam., greenish-blue to light-blue at maturity; epicarp less than 1 mm wide, with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends full length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp thinly woody, brittle, whitish within; endocarp woody, brittle, to 1 mm wide. Seed oblong-elliptical, rounded at both ends, to 17 mm long, to 12 mm wide; intruded to more than half the width of the endosperm; embryo lateral. Eophyll 7- ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: MYANMAR: Pegu Yomas, Chounmenahchy, Kurz 3330 & 3331 (BM, K); Tharapon, Meebold 14335, 14423 (M). CHINA: Guangdong Prov., Fengkai, Heishi Ding, 450 m alt., Fengkai Exped. 1587 (CANT); Hainan. Liang 36627 (NY); Hainan. Mo-San-Leng, 3000 ft alt., Chun & Tso 44362 (A, K, NY, US). THAILAND: Chiang Mai. Muang, Doi Suthep, E side above Rusee Cave, Song See 86 (PHCMU); Chiang Rai. Ban Thing Sai, 8 km NW of Chiang Khong, Anderson 6042 (PHCMU); Lampoon. Mae Tah, Doi Kuhn Dahn NP, southside, Doi Hou Chang, Maxwell 94978 (BKF, CMU); Loei, Phu Kradang, 16º53'54"N, 101º47'49"E, 1150-1250 m alt., Murata 49918 with Phengklai, Mitsuta, Yahara, Nagamusa & Natasan (A, BKF, L); Khao Kho, 600-700 m alt., Dowe 560 (JCT); Kho Yai NP, 20 km S of Main Rd, Dowe 565 (JCT); 45 km N of Thong Pha Phum, Goengavia village, Dowe 566 (JCT); Ranong Prov. 37 km NE of Ranong, less than 200 m alt., King 5586 (US); Petchaburi Prov., Kaeng Krachen NP, 12º54'N, 99º20'E, 500-700 m alt., Barfod 45194 with Ueacharakan (AAU); Petchburi Prov., Kaeng Krachen NP, 2 km after Panoentung Camp, westward on Khao Panoen Rd, Damborg 2 (AAU); Chumphon, Dowe 569 (JCT); Songkla, 1 km SW of Songkhla, Ton Nga Waterfall, 20 km W of Hat Yai, 07º00'N, 100º00'E, 100-250 m alt., Barfod 141040 with Ueacharakan (AAU, K); Songkhla, Hat Yai, Nathawi Rd, Whitmore 3100 with Charal & Chamlong (BKF, K); Trang. Khao Chong, ca 15km E of Trang, 07º30'N, 99º45'E, 200 m alt., Barfod 141333 with Ueacharakan (AAU, PSU); Trang, Kantang, Kuan Kantrang Reserved Forest, Luang Samarn 64 (BKF); Yala. Village of Sungai Kolok, near Sirindhorn Waterfall at Ban Bala, 6 km N of turnoff, Damborg 3 & 4 (AAU). MALAYSIA: Perak. Ulu Batang Padang, on Pahang boundary, ca 6000 ft alt., Henderson 23665 (BO, BRI, K, SING, NY). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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