Linospadix minor

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Figure 1. Figure 1. L. minor in the rainforest margin
at Josephine Falls National Park, North Queensland.



Bacularia intermedia C.T. White

Distribution: :

Australia. North-east Queensland. Recorded from the southern Mcllwraith Range where it has limited distribution, and abundantly from just south of Cooktown (Mt. Amos area} to Mission Beach (Licuala State Forest) and as far inland as Windsor Tableland, from 0-1200 m elevation, in rainforest on basalt, granite and metamorphics.

Derivation of name:

Latin, minor- small. Named for its smaller stature as compared to L. monostachya, the only other species known at the time of its description.


Clustering, small palm. Stems 1-5 m tall, 7-20 mm diameter; internodes elongate, green; crown with 7-12 leaves. Leaves to 110 cm long, irregularly segmented with united pinnae, segments broadly adnate to the rachis, or regularly pinnate with narrow pinnae; petiole 3.6-51 cm long, 1-4 mm wide; pinnae 3-24 per leaf, semi-glossy dark green above, lighter green below, midrib prominent on both surfaces, veins not prominent on lower surface; lamina chartaceous, irregularly corrugated, when backlit under 10x magnification, has scattered, circular clear 'cells' to 0. 1 mm wide linearly parallel to midrib and veins. Inflorescence to 80 cm long. Staminate flowers bullet-shaped in bud, to 3 mm long by 2 mm wide; petals apically rounded, with conspicuous longitudinal striations, green at anthesis, not widely opening; stamens 7-20, attached at different levels in the staminal cluster; connective not extending beyond the anther; anther lobes irregular or uneven. Fruit elongate/cylindrical, 8-18 mm long by 3-8 mm diameter, yellow or red at maturity, epicarp irregularly rugose when fruit is fully mature. Seed elongate/ellipsoid.

Linospadix minor is the most vegetatively variable species in the genus. Plants may be less an 1m to more than 4m tall, sparsely or densely clustered, and leaves may be small to large with few to many segments. Conversely, flowers and fruit display little variation throughout the species' range.

Linospadix minor - as Areca minor - was described by Walter Hill in 1864 from plants collected in the foothills of Mt. Bellenden-Ker, Queensland.

Figure 2. L. minor in habitat, Daintree Rainforest, North Queensland.
Figure 3. L. minor
Figure 4. L. minor unripe fruit

Contributed by:

John Dowe (Text - from Palms & Cycads No. 58, Jan-Mar 1998).
Greg Cuffe (Figure 1 - from Palms & Cycads No. 48, Jul-Sept 1995).
Jeff Nugent - Permaculture Plants (Figures 2&3).
Ian Edwards (Figure 4)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown, ATRP

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk