Livistona eastonii

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Figure 1. L. eastonii in habitat, Mitchell Plateau.

Contents

Common Names:

Mitchell Plateau Fan Palm,
Tdungana (local aboriginal name)

Distribution & Habitat:

Endemic to the Mitchell Plateau, Kimberly Ranges, north Western Australia. Usually an understory plant in open eucalypt forest, but very old plants do break through the canopy.

Description:

A medium sized, solitary fan palm up to 20m (60ft) tall. This is the only dioecious Livistona (it has seperate male and female plants), all other Livistona species having both male and female flowers on the same plant.

General:

Renowned for their age, with some claiming the oldest plants there are between 360 and 720 years old (10 and 21m tall respectively). Others claim 100 and 300 years is a more realistic lifespan. (These estimations are based on growth rates which are 1.15 cm/year for the first 30 cm of height growth and 2.85 cm/year after that)(1).

Reproduction apparantly benefits from regular fires, which had been greatly reduced once the aboriginals were no longer in charge of the land, and so consequently palm numbers declined. Recently a more regular system of burning off has been introduced, which has led to a resurgance in palm numbers.

Cultivation:

Sunny, moist, well drained position. Doesn't like to dry out.

Figure 2. L. eastonii
Figure 3. L. eastonii

Links:

TDUNGANA - Mitchell Plateau Fan Palm.

References:

[[www3.interscience.wiley.comjournal119634745abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0" "Population structure of Livistona eastonii Gardn., Mitchell Plateau, Western Australia" R. J. Hnatiuk

Contributed by:

Mike Crisp (Figure 1,2&3)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk