Livistona victoriae (2)
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Victoria River, Northern Territory.
The species is a typical escarpment species relying on fire protection and seepage water to survive. It is commonly found at the base of cliffs within the scree slope but may also be found precariously perched on the cliff face and lining the upper edge of the cliff with the base wedged into the rock crevices. It occasionally extends a short distance below the scree slope along seasonal stream beds.
The large concentration of palms in the vicinity of Cleanskin yards on the Victoria River was reported by Veal (pers comm) following a canoe trip in 1982. This would be this species which is common on the Victoria River in the gorge upstream from the Victoria River Highway crossing. It can also be seen on the escarpment adjacent to the highway northeast of the crossing. The species has also been recorded from the Keep River National Park on the N.T.Wester n Australian border.
A robust fan palm, with stiff, very glaucous costapalmate leaves. Only recently brought into cultivation, it shows much promise.
The small round seed should be soaked for a few days, then put in deep trays. The long thin strap leaves will appear in about 6 months, their germination rate is excellent. Growth in pots seems good, without any particular hassles. As an arid zone plant they would prefer light shade, well drained potting mix and low humidity. Three years should produce a good sized specimen in a 200ram pot ready to plant out.
A sunny position in the garden will give a stiff leaved specimen, with a very pronounced blue bloom. This persists for a number of years. Some irrigation during the dry, and light fertilizing are recommended.
Reproduced from Palms & Cycads No. 20 July-Sept 1988.