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The Walsh River Archontophoenix
Palm to 25 m tall, trunk to 30 cm in diameter and expanded at the base. Leaves 3.5 to 4 m long, ascending, held rigid, with a moderate lateral twist. Petiole is very short or absent. Crownshaft is mid-green. Pinnae are moderately grey-scaled below, held rigid with a very prominent midrib. They lack ramenta on the midrib below. The inflorescence is by far the largest of the genus, being up to 1.5 m long, with a thick peduncle to 12 cm wide; it is branched to four orders; branches are held semierect though they become pendulous in fruit. Flowers are white. Staminate flower has 11-16 stamens. Fruit is red at maturity, 13-15 mm long. Fibres in the mesocarp are thin and branched.
Occurs in rainforest, gallery forest and wet sclerophyll forest at 800-1200 m altitude, on the Walsh River and its tributaries, western Atherton Tablelands [17° 20'S], and nearby Mt Haig Range in the central Atherton Tableland, Queensland.
This is the largest species in the genus. It has a massive inflorescence and ascending, rigid leaves with a short or absent petiole. Flower characteristics most closely resemble A. alexandrae.
John Dowe (Text - from Palms & Cycads No. 39, Apr-Jun 1993).
Luke Nancarrow (Figure 1)