Fan Palm

Livistona humilis


A single-stemmed palm to 4 m high; leaves fan-like to 50 cm long, petiole with sharp prickles; flowers small, yellow; fruit oval to 15 mm long, black. Found in Eucalypt savanna, often forming dense populations. Flowers September-May. Fruit January-June.


The cabbage or growing point is chopped out of the leaf base area and eaten without cooking. The smaller plants are favoured as they have sweeter cabbage. The leaves may be used as a fan to assist in lighting a fire. The thin, brown bark of the inflorescence stalk may be used like cigarette papers to hold tobacco while smoking.

(Source: Blake, N., Wightman, G., and Williams, L. 1998. Iwaidja Ethnobotany, p. 89. NT Botanical Bulletin No. 23, Parks and Wildlife Commission, Darwin.)