Livistona carinensis

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Figure 1. L. carinensis in Wadi Hajr, Goba, Yemen.



Wissmannia carinensis

Common Names:

Bankouale palm, nakilto, (Afar)
daban, madah, (Somali),
N, tug, somm (Arabic)

Conservation Status:

Critically endangered. The palms are cut for timber and cleared for agricultural land, and their numbers are falling quite rapidly.

Distribution & Habitat:

Found in semi-arid areas of Djibouti in the Goda Mtns, Somalia, and in Yemen in the Hadramaut region at El Mintaq and Wadi Hadjer. The rainfall is around 400mm and the elevation between 200 and 975 m. Grows along creeks and in soaks at the bottom of valleys (basically anywhere it can get a bit of extra water).


A large solitary fan palm to 40m tall, up to 40cm across expanding to 65 cm at the base. Leaf stubs not persistant, but the leaf scares are prominent. It has up to 40 waxy leaves (grey-green adaxially (top), grey abaxially (bottom)) in a globose crown, the petioles up to 1.25 m long, and the leaves up to 95cm across. Between 50 and 70 splits in the leaf.


The only Livistona found outside the Asian area.


Sunny, well drained position. Drought and frost tolerant.

Figure 2. L. carinensis habitat, Disay, Djibouti.

Contributed by:

G.&H. Welsh (Figure 1&2)
(from Palms&Cycads No. 79&80)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk