Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Livistona australis (R.Br.) Mart.

Large palm with an erect, robust trunk and long, spiny leaf stalks supporting longer, fan-like leaves.  From spring to summer long panicles of cream flowers are produced, followed by brownish red to black fruit.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1824.  [JD].  ‘This graceful palm was for many years one of the greatest ornaments of the Palm House at Kew, rearing its massive head of bright green foliage supported on a rich brown caudex, high above all the other palms except Cocos plumosa and Caryota urens.  During the present year having reached the roof on the west side of the centre, it was felled and replaced by a Phoenix dactylifera which will take years to assume the same proportions, and never rival it in beauty.  Livistona australis is the most southern palm of the Australian continent, reaching the snowy range in lat. 370 30’ S. when its trunk attains 80 ft. in height, and extending thence along the west coast to the Illawarra River, in lat. 340 45’ S.  It flowered annually at Kew, in the spring months, for many years.’  [BM t.6274/1877].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.348/1843].  Probably obtained locally.  Macarthur supplied Loddiges’ Nursery with plants on 1st February 1849 and probably on other occasions.  [A2933-1, p.185]. There are a number of mature specimens in the gardens.


Published Mar 06, 2009 - 02:34 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:42 PM

The image depicts the palm tree with fan-like fronds and details of flower and fruit.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.6274, 1877.

Livistona australis (R.Br.) Mart | BM t.6274/1877 | BHL

Family Arecaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia

  • Corypha australis R.Br.
Common Name

Australian fan palm, Cabbage palm

Name in the Camden Park Record

Corypha Australis - Australian Cabbage Palm 

Confidence level high