Livistona nitida

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Livistona (lih-vis-TOH-nah)
nitida (nih-tih'-dah)
alm shadow, Carnarvon National Park, QLD., Australia. (Sep. 1979) Photo by Paul Meir
Scientific Classification
Genus: Livistona (lih-vis-TOH-nah)
nitida (nih-tih'-dah)
Livistona sp. 'Carnarvon Gorge'
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Carnarvon Palm, Carnarvon Gorge Cabbage Palm, Dawson River Fan-Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Australia. Queensland. In the catchments of the Dawson, Comet and Burnett Rivers, and Carnarvon Gorge.
Carnarvon National Park, QLD., Australia. (Sep. 1979) Photo by Paul Meir
Abundant along the margins of streams and flood plains, but also associated with sandstone cliffs and gorges, 100-650 m alt. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

"Carnarvon National Park in central Queensland, Australia. It is common in the Carnarvon and nearby Isla Gorges where it grows along stream banks and on rocky escarpments. eucalyptus forest areas at an elevation of about 3300 feet."


"A tall solitary fan palm to 30 m (100ft), with bright green, deeply divided leaves, with long, drooping leaf tips, up to 4.5m (18ft) long, and which form an open crown. It has numerous glossy black fruits that are about 2 cm (0.8in) in diameter."

Functionally dioecious palm. Trunk to 35 m tall, 25-40 cm in diameter breast high, 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 about 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, about 1.5 mm long, fleshy, subacute; petals broadly ovate, 2.0-2.2 mm long, thick, fleshy, acute; stamens about 1.6 mm long. Fruit globose, 13-20 mm in diam., glossy jet black; epicarp with scattered lenticellular pores, suture line extends for about 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.)/Palmweb. Editimg by edric.


"L. nitida has done very well in Augusta, GA. Grows much faster with ample water, but does fine without it. Two winters in a row, it was covered in snow for several days. There was some leaf damage, but the palm grew like crazy the following Spring with no spear pull. Lows that it has endured are in the low 20's. The palm is 12' tall after six years from a 5-gal. container." (J. Levert)

Cold Hardiness Zone: 8a+

Comments and Curiosities

Phenology: Flowers Sep-Dec; fruits Nov-Mar.

Conservation: Lower risk, conservation dependent. (Dowe, J.L.)/Palmweb.

Fastest growing of the Livistona, as well as the most cold hardy.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

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

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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