Ptychosperma bleeseri

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Figure 1. P. macarthurii inflorescence.


Common Names:

Darwin Palm,
Bleeser's Palm

Conservation Status:

[[www.iucnredlist.orgsearchdetails.php?species=38661" Endangered

Distribution & Habitat:

Lowland rainforest of the Northern Territory, Australia. It is only found in eight small rainforest patches east of Darwin, within the Adelaide and Howard River system. It occurs over an area 30 kilometres long by 20 kilometres wide.


A sparse, clumping palm, of the monsoon forest depths, up to 12 tall, its long thin green stems, 3-6cm in diameter frequently 'hang about' amongst other vegetation for support, or simply fall on the ground. Pinnae are evenly arranged on the few flat leaves, rising from a green crownshaft. Red fruit are very few and ripen sporadically, even cultivated specimens yield a scant handful at a time.


Defleshed and planted in shallow trays, their germination rate is excellent, seedling appearing in 4 or 5 months. Standard horticultural practice suits P. bleeseri, a slow release fertilizer can be given at every move to a larger pot. Two years growth in the nursery area produces a 1.5 m suckering specimen, its dark green pinnae lying flat and even up the rachis. Sun hardened palms can be planted in almost full sun, a much shorter, robust plant will result. Three or more mature stems and many basal suckers are common in cultivated specimens. Irrigation, fertilizer and mulch are necessary.


P. bleeseri make excellent indoor plants, actually growing in dark air-conditioned offices and fume-filled beauty salons. Since the rediscovery of Ptychosperma bleeseri, concerted efforts have resulted in many specimens around suburban and rural gardens.


Threatened Species Day Fact Sheet

Contributed by:

Alan White (Text - from Palms & Cycads No. 20 July-Sept 1988)
Australian Botanic Gardens (Figure 1)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, JSTOR, Trebrown, ATRP

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk