Balaka seemannii

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Figure 1. B. seemannii.



Ptychosperma seemannii, B. gracilis, and B. cuneata

Conservation Status:

It is not considered endangered.

Distribution & Habitat:

Endemic to Fiji. They are widely distributed throughout rainforest areas in Vanua Levu and Taveuni Islands with high rainfall from 140 meters and more in elevation.


An elegant palm with some found up to 7 meters but many maturing at around 2 meters height. It has a slender trunk rarely seen more than 3-4 cm thick and attractive colorations between grey to brown with the crownshaft slightly darker. It holds only 6-7 fronds of about 1.5 meters or less in length. Fruits are red, ellipsoid and slightly pointed when ripe.

This is a common palm which has been used as spears and as walking sticks and in more recent times as a decorative wall lining similar to a bamboo screen.


This palm prefers light shade but survives in full sun when given plenty of water. It also does well as a pot plant.

Figure 2. B. seemannii inflorescence and seeds.
Figure 3. B. seemannii in habitat.

Contributed by:

Jim Valentine (Text & Figure 1,2&3)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk