Laccospadix H.Wendl. & Drude
  • Nachr. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Georg-Augusts-Univ. 1875: 59 (1875) 

Notes: Distribution: NE. Australia

General Description

Small to moderate, solitary or clustering, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, becoming bare, conspicuously ringed with leaf scars. Leaves pinnate, marcescent; sheaths soon splitting opposite the petiole, bearing scattered scales, the margins becoming fibrous; petiole long, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded, bearing scattered scales; rachis curved, scaly like the petiole; leaflets numerous, single-fold, conspicuously plicate, acute or acuminate, adaxially and abaxially with minute scattered scales, abaxially with conspicuous ramenta along the main ribs, transverse veinlets not visible. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, protandrous, unbranched; peduncle winged at the base, erect, elongate, bearing scattered caducous scales; prophyll inserted at the base of the peduncle, flattened, tubular, 2-winged, ± included within the leaf sheaths, tending to disintegrate into fibres apically; peduncular bract 1, inserted near the tip of the peduncle, enclosing the spike in bud, splitting longitudinally, deciduous at anthesis; rachis ± equalling the peduncle, pendulous, bearing a slightly spiralled series of prominent, rounded bracts forming the lower lips of the floral pits; floral pits enclosing triads except at the apex where enclosing paired or solitary staminate flowers only, flowers exserted one at a time; floral bracteoles 3, ± sepal-like. Staminate flowers borne on very short flattened pedicels, ± symmetrical; sepals 3, distinct, keeled, ± chaffy, with irregular margins; petals 3, ± twice as long as the sepals, distinct, triangular-ovate, valvate, marked within by anther impressions; stamens 9–12, erect, filaments very short, anthers ± elongate, basifixed, latrorse; pistillode minute, trifid. Pollen ellipsoidal, asymmetric; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate-rugulate, or finely granular-rugulate, especially on proximal face, aperture margin finely perforate-rugulate; infratectum columellate; longest axis 36–42 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers ± globular; sepals 3, distinct, ± chaffy, with irregular margins; petals similar to but longer than sepals, distinct, broadly imbricate except at the valvate, triangular tip; staminodes 3, small, ± triangular; gynoecium unilocular, uniovulate, ovoid-ellipsoidal, tipped with 3, short, recurved stigmas, ovule attached laterally near the base, campylotropous. Fruit ellipsoidal when fresh, red at maturity, perianth whorls persistent, the stigmatic scar apical; epicarp smooth, mesocarp thin, fleshy, overlying stout longitudinal fibres, endocarp thin, adherent to seed. Seed laterally attached with short oblong hilum, the raphe ± extending the length of the seed, the raphe branches anastomosing, endosperm deeply ruminate; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 32.

Diagnostic Description

Short or acaulescent pinnate-leaved palms endemic to the rain forests of Queensland, Australia; distinctive in the spicate inflorescences and staminate flowers with 9–12 stamens.


Root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b) and fruit (Essig 2002).


Occurring in shaded, humid rain forest on mountain rangesand table lands at altitudes of 800–1400 m above sea-level.


One variable species widespread in tropical rain forest in northeastern Queensland, Australia.


Sometimes cultivated as an ornamental.

Common Names

Atherton palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Australasia Australia Queensland


  • 1 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
  • C All Rights Reserved
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • D Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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