Livistona decora

livistona decipiens

Livistonas are large fan palms native to Australia but this one has a very restricted natural distribution, found only on the intriguingly named Magnetic Island in Cleveland Bay off Queensland. It can reach 15m high with large leaves up to 4m across on 2m petioles. As many as 60 can make up the rounded crown and despite its limited natural distribution it is a very amenable to cultivation and is a popular palm in warm climates. It can tolerate short spells of cold (sub zero – c) temperatures and is considered suitable for gardens in USDA9a or more. Because the leaves are divided into about 80 leaflets, separate for 80% of their length, it has a delicate appearance and is commonly called the ribbon palm.

It is a monoecious genus, meaning that plants bear both male and female flowers but it is functionally dioecious. This means that although the flowers have both male and female parts a plant will either not produce pollen or have functional ovaries so each plant functions as a male or a female.

livistona decipiens2

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