North QLD Fan Palm

Licuala ramsayi

Synonyms: Australian Fan Palm, Queensland Fan Palm, Chakoro, Wedge-Leaflet Fan Palm.

The North QLD Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi) is a stunning species native to the tropical rainforest areas of northern QLD, often seen growing along riverbanks and in swampy areas. Highly desirable species as a feature specimen in tropical or Balinese. Although from the tropics, this species is surprisingly cold hardy and can handle the Brisbane winter in its stride. This species can grow to around 15m in the wild, but does so very slowly. It’s said to grow only a few centimeters of trunk per year!

This palm usually starts life in the under-story, emerging into more sun as it breaks through the tree canopy. However, in South East Queensland where the humidity is often quite low, too much sun will cause this plant to burn. As such, we recommend planting this species in a position with filtered sun only, or with just a few hours of morning sun.

Like other Licuala species, the Queensland Fan Palm does not tolerate wind very well. Plant in a protected space or among other plants to prevent wind damage. Note: split leaves is normal for this species. Licuala ramsayii can tolerate single-digit temperatures for short periods over winter, but not frost.

Suffers few pest and disease issues. Will attract mealybugs during certain times of the year, and is also somewhat susceptible to scale. Despite being a riparian species in the wild, it is prone to oedema and root rot if kept too soggy, especially during winter.

Applications

  • Shade Tree
  • Feature Tree
  • Tropical Gardens
  • Balinese Gardens

Care

Remove spent fronds as required. Requires virtually no other maintenance. Does best in rich, well-drained soil. Use quality fertilizer such as Troforte or Organic Link regularly to produce strong, healthy growth.

Features

  • Broad, divided almost circular fan leaves

  • Spiny petioles
  • Canopy-forming

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Size

Height: 10-15m
Width: 2-3m

Light

Part sun to Shade

Watering

Moderate watering. Can survive drought periods once established.

Growth Rate

Very Slow.