Livistona nitida Rodd, Telopea 8: 96 (1998)

Primary tabs

no image available


Map uses TDWG level 3 distributions (
Queensland present (World Checklist of Arecaceae)B
Australia. Queensland. In the catchments of the Dawson, Comet and Burnett Rivers, and Carnarvon Gorge. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Abundant along the margins of streams and flood plains, but also associated with sandstone cliffs and gorges, 100-650 m alt. Flowers Sep-Dec; fruits Nov-Mar. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona nitida was described by Rodd (1998) based on Rodd 3055 collected from Delusion Ck near Cracow, Queensland, and named for its highly glossy jet black fruits. The taxon had previously been informally known as the "Carnarvon Gorge Fan Palm" and "Livistona sp. Carnarvon" (Irvine, 1984; Jones, 1996). An early account was provided by Leichhardt (1847) during his transcontinental expedition of 1845, when near the Dawson R., Queensland, he wrote in his diary: "...a creek with Corypha palms, growing to a height of 25 or 30 feet"and "several rocky gullies were passed, that were full of palm trees. The valley of Palm-tree Creek extends about nineteen miles from west to east" and "the Corypha-palm provided a good supply of cabbage". Livistona nitida is a large canopy palm to 35 m tall; leaves are large and regularly segmented; segment apices are pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft to 73% of the segment length; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 12 partial inflorescences; bracts are loosely sheathing; flowers are cream to yellow; fruit are globose to 20 mm diam., and glossy jet black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Lower risk, conservation dependent. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Common Name

  • Carnarvon Gorge Cabbage Palm. Dawson River Fan-Palm. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Functionally dioecious palm. Trunk to 35 m tall, 25-40 cm dbh, leaf scars raised; internodes narrow, grey; petiole stubs persistent in the basal 1 m or so, otherwise deciduous. Leaves 35-50 in a globose crown; petiole 170- 200 cm long, 20-26 mm wide, adaxially ridged, margins distally smooth, proximally with single, curved, dark red spines; leaf-base fibres moderately prominent, coarse, disintegrating; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, ± circular in outline, 160-190 cm long, coriaceous, adaxially dark green, glossy, abaxially lighter green; lamina divided for 63-70% of its length, with 68-80 segments, depth of apical cleft 60-73% of the segment length, apical lobes pendulous; parallel veins ca 7 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, not sexually dimorphic, 150-200 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 4 orders; partial inflorescences 8-12; peduncular bract(s) lacking; rachis bracts loosely sheathing, densely scaly; rachillae 5-20 cm long, glabrous to papillose. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-5, funnel-shaped, 2-3.2 mm long, cream to yellow; sepals triangular, ca 1.5 mm long, fleshy, subacute; petals broadly ovate, 2.0-2.2 mm long, thick, fleshy, acute; stamens ca 1.6 mm long. Fruit globose, 13-20 mm diam., glossy jet black; epicarp with scattered lenticellular pores, suture line extends for ca ½ the length of the fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp fibrous, dry; endocarp thin, brittle; pedicel to 0.5 mm long. Seed globose, 10-12 mm wide. Eophyll 5-ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: AUSTRALIA: Queensland. Carnarvon Gorge, White 11374 (BRI); Carnarvon Gorge, Dec 1939, Waldron s.n. (BRI); Carnarvon Gorge NP, Carnarvon Ck, Rodd 1112 (NSW); Delusion Ck, Cracow- Theodore Rd, 12 miles N of Cracow, Johnson 847 (BRI); Delusion Ck, Theodore-Cracow Rd, 25º11'S, 150º11'E, Dowe 301 (BRI, FTG); Junction of Dawson R. and Delusion Ck, NW of Cracow, Rodd 3051, 3052 & 3054 with Jacobs (BH, BRI, K, NSW); NW of Cracow, junction of Dawson R. and Delusion Ck, Rodd 3055 with Jacobs (BH, BRI, K, NSW holotype); Cracow to Theodore Rd, Delusion Ck, 17.5 km W of Cracow, Irvine 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901 & 1902 (QRS); 61 km W of Eidsvold at start of Isla-Delusion Rd, 21 Apr 1986, Ladiges, Humphries & Bean s.n. (BM); Robinson Ck, NW of Taroom, Speck 1986 (BRI, CANB); Robinson Ck, 13 miles NW of Taroom, Johnson 2764 (BRI); Palm Tree Ck, 12 miles N of Taroom, Johnson 1671 (BRI); Palm Tree Ck, 12 km from Taroom, Moriarty 1280 (BRI); Palm Tree Ck, 19 km N of Taroom, Telford 5648 (CBG, NSW); Palm ree Ck, 10 miles (ca 16 km) N of Taroom, Reeve 11 (CANB); Taroom, 16 Sep 1960, Stiller s.n. (BRI). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


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