Livistona drudei F.Muell. ex Drude, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 16(39): 11 (1893)

Primary tabs


Australia. Queensland. Coastal and near-coastal areas between Kurrimine Beach and Townsville, and with a disjunction to Conway Ra. near Proserpine. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Grows on the landward side of mangroves, in foredune swales, open forest and swamp forest on coastal plains and along the margins of streams and estuaries at low elevations, 0-100 m alt. Flowers Aug-Dec; fruits Dec-June. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Livistona drudei was first mentioned informally by Mueller (1878) as "...palme nunc pro speciei vel varietatis distinctione nomen Doctoris Oscaris Drude impono...", followed by the use of the name L. drudei in the index of the same volume. Drude (1893) reviewed this taxon and applied a brief description, thus validating the name. However no specimens were directly linked to either Mueller's or Drude?s treatments, although Mueller (1878) mentioned a specimen from "Rockingham's Bay" that Wendland & Drude (1875) had used, incorrectly, as reference in their treatment of L. inermis. The lectotype chosen by Rodd (1998) is the "Rockingham's Bay" specimen Dallachy s.n.. The mention of the "valley of the Mackay" on a slip accompanying the type is a reference to present-day Tully R., of which Mackay R. was an earlier name; a Mt Mackay still exists at this location though. This does not refer to the present-day Mackay R., which is associated with the city of Mackay in central Queensland. Beccari (1931) provided a thorough description based on additional specimens, but did not cite the Dallachy specimen. Rodd (1998) interpreted Beccari's (1931) description as formalising the name. However, as the Dallachy specimen was not cited by Beccari, I have chosen Drude?s (1893) treatment as the valid place of publication of the name. Livistona drudei is a tall canopy palm to 28 m tall; leaves are large and regularly segmented; segment apices are pendulous, and with a bifurcate cleft to 60% of the segment length; the petiole bases are distinctively purple; the inflorescence is unbranched, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, and with up to 8 partial inflorescences; bracts are tightly tubular; flowers are cream to yellow; fruit are globose to pyriform, to 12 mm long by 11 mm wide, and semi-glossy purple black at maturity. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Endangered (IUCN, 2006; Dowe, 2007). (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A


  • Functionally dioecious palm. Trunk to 28 m tall, 15-20 cm dbh, leaf scars narrow, pale grey; internodes broad. Leaves 30-60 in a globose or conical crown; petiole 150-230 cm long, 15-25 mm wide, adaxially ridged, purple in basal portion, green distally, margins with single, curved reddish spines larger and closer in the proximal portion; leaf-base fibres moderately prominent, coarse, persistent; lamina costapalmate, regularly segmented, ± circular, 100-150 cm long, coriaceous, adaxially dark green, abaxially lighter green, glossy; lamina divided for 60-70% of its length, with 60-84 segments, depth of apical cleft ca 60% of the segment length, apical lobes attenuate, pendulous; parallel veins 7 each side of midrib; transverse veins thinner than parallel veins. Inflorescences unbranched at the base, not sexually dimorphic, 150-300 cm long, not extending beyond the limit of the crown, branched to 3 orders; 7-8 partial inflorescences; peduncle subterete, 15-25 mm diam.; prophyll glabrous; peduncular bract 1, tightly tubular, glabrous; rachis bracts tightly tubular, glabrous, apices with acuminate lobes; rachillae 1-8 cm long, pubescent. Flowers solitary or in clusters of 2-5, funnel-shaped, 1.7-2.2 mm long, cream to yellow; sepals narrowly triangular, 1.3-1.5 mm long, fleshy, subacute; petals broadly ovate, 1.7-2 mm long, fleshy, apexthickened; stamens ca 1.5 mm long. Fruit globose to pyriform, 10-12 mm long, 10-11 mm diam., semi-glossy purple-black; epicarp with scattered lenticellular pores; suture line extends for ca ½ length of fruit, marked with lip-like structures; mesocarp thin, fibrous; endocarp thin, brittle; pedicel 1-2 mm long. Seed ellipsoid, 8-9 mm long. Eophyll 5-ribbed. (Dowe, J.L.: A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae))A

Materials Examined

  • Specimens examined: AUSTRALIA: Queensland. Kurrimine Beach, 1 km N of Maria Ck, Dowe 281 (BRI, FTG); Tully Heads Rd, 1 km W of Hull Heads turnoff, Dowe 290 (JCT); Rockingham Bay, Sept. 1865, Dallachy s.n. (MEL lectotype); Hinchinbrook Is., Webb 11170 (BRI); Herbert R., 1886, Dittrich s.n. (MEL); 14.5 km NW of Ingham, N side of Herbert R., at SW base of Mt Leach Ra., Rodd 3135 with Jacobs (BRI, K, NSW); Mouth of Herbert R., Webb 11176 with Tracey (BRI); Braemeadows, near Ingham, 27 Nov 1959, Thomas s.n. (BRI); Halifax, 2 km along road to Lucinda, Irvine 1832 (BRI, NSW, QRS); Little Crystal Ck, near Youth Camp, 22 1833 & 1834 (BRI, NSW, QRS); Kinduro, Hen Camp Ck, near Bruce Hwy, Irvine 1841 (BRI, QRS); Conway Beach, 20 km from Proserpine, 20º28?S, 148º45?E, Dowe 329 (BRI, FTG).
    Specimens from cultivated material: Australia: Queensland. Brisbane, CSIRO, Long Pocket, Tracey 15264 (BRI); CSIRO, Long Pocket, Tracey 15296 (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)