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Cabbage Tree Palm

BSA Plant Guide

Cabbage Tree Palm (Livistona australis)

Family: Arecaceae / Palmaceae

Size: up to 30m

Description: Evergreen Palm with single cylindrical unbranched trunk and large fronds. There are 57 species of Palm found in Australia.

Habitat: Found in wet coastal forests and rainforests and along streams. Widespread along the east coast of Australia.

Foliage: Dense crown of large shiny fan shaped fronds up to 3m each with sharp thorns along the stems (petioles).

Flowers: Spikes with cream white flowers in summer. Red fruits change to black when ripe

Distribution: NSW, QLD, northern VIC

Uses: Edible tasty terminal bud (heart or cabbage) atop the trunk can be eaten raw or cooked (harvesting this kills the plant). Fibre from young leaves and frond stems used for cordage. Dead fronds used for shelter thatching (green fronds shrink when they dry). Green fronds used to weave hats and baskets. Coarse husky hessian like fibres at the base of frond stems (petioles) used for fire tinder and cordage.

Adult Livistona australis - NSW
Young Livistona showing large fronds
Frond bases and hessian like husk