Common Name: Cabbage Palm, Fan Palm.
Etymology: Livistona named by Robert Brown after Patrick Murray (Baron of Livingston) who’s garden formed the nucleus of the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh. australis (southern).
Origin: Eastern Victoria to southern Queensland.
Description: Tall, single stemmed, fan-liked palm. This species lacks a crownshaft and has a somewhat spherical, dark-green crown with drooping tips to the leaves and a skirt of dead leaves usually hanging beneath the crown.
Foliage: 3-4m long, palmately divided, fan shaped. Long spiny petioles.
Bark/Trunk: Grey to brownish grey, 30m tall and 50cm diameter. Ringed with incomplete horizontal scars. Trunk goes grey with age.
Flowers: White to cream , singly or in clusters on branched panicles among the fronds.
Fruit: Spherical, hard, globular orange/red turning brown/black when ripe.
Growth Requirements: Prefers organically rich, well drained soils but will tolerate most conditions when established, frost resistant. Requires shaded position as seedling with plenty of organic fertilizer during the warmer months.
Uses: Feature plant for parks and large gardens, potted plant when young, Australian native gardens and coastal gardens. More traditional uses by the Aboriginal people include the new growth being cooked or eaten raw, heart of trunk used as medicine, leaves were used to make shelter, string, rope and fishing line.
Maintenance: Pruning of dead fronds to avoid them being a hazard to people or property when they fall.
Propagation: Germination from ripe seed, may take up to 12 months to germinate.
Sources of information:
- Own horticultural notes.
- Photography by Simon Schubert.