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Arenga australasica

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

Arenga australasica (H.Wendl. & Drude) S.T.Blake ex H.E.Moore

Moore, H.E. (1963) Gentes Herbarum 9(3): 268. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Saguerus australasicus H.Wendl. & Drude, Linnaea 39: 219(1875), Type: Australia, Queensland, Rockingham Bay, Garden Island, Aug 1865, J. Dallachy.

Common name

Australian Arenga Palm; Southern Arenga

Stem

Multi-stemmed palm up to 20 m tall with numerous suckers around the base, stems up to 30 cm DBH. Older stems are light coloured and ringed with leafbase scars in the younger part, trunks clothed in dark fibrous leaf sheaths.

Leaves

Leaves pinnate, up to 3.5 m long. Leaflets 78-142 per leaf, narrow, stiff, pleated, dark green above and lighter below, apices notched and grows from the rachis at a 30 angle to create a V-shaped leaf. Terminal leaflets are fused at their bases and fishtail-like. Pinnae silver-grey on underside.Crownshaft absent.

Flowers

Inflorescence from the upper leaf bases and progressively down the stem, 1-2 m long with 38-44 unbranched pendant panicles of yellowish male and female flowers. Sepals 3, petals 3. Flowers in clusters of 3, one female flower and 2 male flowers.

Fruit

Fruit globular and red to purple when ripe, ca. 8-26 mm long x 8-28 mm wide. 2-3 seeds per fruit. Seeds hard and smooth, 10-15 mm long x 10-15 mm diam, tear-shaped to angled.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the NT, CYP, NEQ and CQ as far south as Tully. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 240 m. Grows in rocky soil in rainforest, vineforest, monsoon forest,

Natural History

Flesh from the fruit is highly caustic (Cronin 1989).

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Palm, pandan or cycad

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

7026