Linospadix H.Wendl.
  • Linnaea 39: 177 (1875) 

Notes: Distribution: New Guinea to E. Australia

General Description

Small to very small, solitary or clustered, unarmed, pleonanthic,monoecious palms. Stem erect, slender, eventually becoming bare, Distribution of Linospadixconspicuously ringed with leaf scars. Leaves bifid to pinnate, neatlyabscising or marcescent, a crownshaft not well developed; sheaths soon surfaces, transverse veinlets usually obscure. Inflorescences solitary,splitting opposite the petiole, bearing scattered scales, the margins often interfoliar, ± erect, protandrous, unbranched; peduncle winged at thebecoming fibrous, a tattering ligule sometimes present; petiole ± absent base; prophyll inserted near the base of the peduncle, tubular, 2-or very short to long, usually scaly; rachis very short to long; blade bifid keeled, ± included within the subtending leaf sheath, persistent,with acute, acuminate or lobed tips, or divided into 1–several fold becoming tattered and fibrous; peduncular bract 1, inserted in theleaflets, the leaflets regular or irregular, acute, acuminate, bifid or distal part of the peduncle or at its very tip, tubular, ± beaked, ±irregularly lobed and praemorse, often bearing minute scales on both enclosing the spike in bud, soon splitting longitudinally, deciduous; spike short to elongate, variously scaly, bearing dense to lax, spirally arranged, broad, ± triangular bracts forming the lower lips of very shallow floral pits, each bearing a triad except at the tip where bearing solitary or paired staminate flowers, the flowers exposed, not enclosed by the pit; floral bracteoles minute. Staminate flowers ± sessile, ± symmetrical, both of a triad apparently developing ± at the same time; sepals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate, ± keeled; petals 3, distinct, about twice as long as the sepals, with very thick valvate tips, internally marked with stamen impressions; stamens 6–12 erect, filaments very short, anthers dorsifixed, ± linear, apically acute, basally ± sagittate, latrorse; pistillode very small, minutely 3-pointed. Pollen ellipsoidal, slightly asymmetric to lozenge-shaped; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, coarsely perforate, or coarsely perforate-rugulate, aperture margin slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 24–41 µm [3/9]. Pistillate flowers eventually much larger than the staminate; sepals 3, distinct, broadly imbricate; petals 3, distinct, slightly exceeding the sepals, with broad imbricate bases and conspicuous, thickened, triangular, valvate tips; staminodes 3–6, irregularly lobed and tooth-like; gynoecium unilocular, uniovulate, ± ovoid, with 3 short stigmas, becoming recurved, ovule laterally attached near the base, hemianatropous (?always). Fruit ellipsoidal to spindle-shaped, rarely curved, bright red (?always) at maturity, perianth whorls persistent, the stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, mesocarp thin, fleshy, with thin fibres next to the endocarp, endocarp very thin, closely adhering to the seed. Seed subbasally attached, the raphe extending ca. 1/3 the seed length, or less, the branches free or anastomosing, endosperm homogeneous; embryo basal. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll bifid. Cytology: 2n = 32.

Diagnostic Description

Small or clustering undergrowth palms of rain forest in New Guinea andeastern Australia, with spicate inflorescences with the peduncular bractinserted far above the prophyll at the base of the flower-bearing part ofthe inflorescence; seed with ruminate endosperm.


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


Minute to small palms of the undergrowth of tropical rain forest, especially at higher elevations.


Nine species, two species in New Guinea, the rest in Australia.


Stems of Linospadix monostachyos have been used as walking sticks. The ‘cabbage’ is edible and the mesocarp, though thin, is pleasantly acid to taste.

Common Names

Walking stick palms.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Asia-Tropical Papuasia New Guinea
  • Australasia Australia New South Wales
  • 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
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from
  • B 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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