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Livistona chinensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe: Trachycarpeae
Genus: Livistona
  • Wissmannia Burret
Livistona nitida, the Carnarvon Fan Palm, as seen from the Amphitheatre in Carnarvon National Park.

Livistona is a genus of palms (family Arecaceae), native to southern, southeastern and eastern Asia, Australasia, and the Horn of Africa.[2] They are fan palms, the leaves with an armed petiole terminating in a rounded, costapalmate fan of numerous leaflets.[3][4][5][6]

Livistona is closely related to the genus Saribus, and for a time Saribus was included in Livistona. Recent studies, however, have advocated separating the two groups.[2][7]

Livistona species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra arenosella (recorded on L. subglobosa) and Paysandisia archon.

Kho (L. speciosa) is the tree of Khao Kho District in Thailand.[8]


The genus was established by Robert Brown in his Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae (1810) to accommodate his descriptions of two species collected during an expedition to Australia. The names published by Brown were Livistona humilis and L. inermis, describing material he had collected in the north of Australia, a partial taxonomic revision in 1963 nominated the first of these as the lectotype. His collaborator Ferdinand Bauer, the botanist and master illustrator, produced artworks to accompany Brown's descriptions, but these were not published until 1838.[9]

Robert Brown named the genus Livistona after Patrick Murray (1634–1671), Baron of Livingston, a botanist and horticulturist, who was largely responsible for establishing the botanical gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland.[10][11][12] Brown's praise for the early horticulturist begins, "… in memoriam viri nobilis Patricii Murray Baronis de Livistone,", and the latinized name of the genus is evidently derived from the name of the family's seat.[9]


The classification of the genus has been the subject of partial revisions, the following is an incomplete list of species,

Livistona humilis by Ferdinand Bauer in Martius Historia naturalis palmarum (1838)
Formerly placed here

The genus was the subject of a taxonomic revision in 1998.[9]


  1. ^ "Genus: Livistona R. Br". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-10-15. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. ^ Dowe, J.L. (2009). A taxonomic account of Livistona R.Br. (Arecaceae). Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 60: 185-344.
  5. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Livistona". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  6. ^ Flora of China, Vol. 23 Page 147, 蒲葵属 pu kui shu, Livistona R. Brown, Prodr. 267. 1810.
  7. ^ Bacon, C.D. & Baker, W.J. (2011). Saribus resurrected. Palms; Journal of the International Palm Society 55: 109-116.
  8. ^ Palmpedia, Livistona speciosa
  9. ^ a b c d Rodd, A. (21 December 1998). "Revision of Livistona (Arecaceae) in Australia". Telopea. 8 (1): 49–153. doi:10.7751/telopea19982015.
  10. ^ Robert Brown (1810). "Prodromus floræ Novæ Hollandiæ et Insulæ Van-Diemen : exhibens characteres plantarum quas annis 1802-1805". (in Latin)
  11. ^ Napier, D; Smith, N; Alford, L; Brown, J (2012), Common Plants of Australia's Top End, South Australia: Gecko Books, pp. 50–51, ISBN 9780980852523
  12. ^ Dowe, JL (2010), Australian Palms : Biogeography, Ecology and Systematics, Melbourne, Vic: CSIRO Publishing, pp. 110–112, ISBN 9780643096158

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