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PlantFiles: Fountain Palm, Ribbon Palm, Weeping Cabbage Palm
Livistona decora

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Livistona (liv-iss-TOH-nuh) (Info)
Species: decora (DEK-or-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Livistona decipiens

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

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30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive giegertree On Sep 21, 2014, giegertree from Savannah, GA wrote:

A low of 18 F followed by 36 hours of never getting above 32F fried the foliage in the canopy (at ~18 ft), but new fronds emerged in June. Lovely cold-hardy palm!

Neutral CoconutFreak On Mar 13, 2010, CoconutFreak from Zone10
Australia wrote:

Thank you australia13, this is an Australian palm, not Californian. Washingtonia is Californian.

Neutral australia13 On Jun 26, 2009, australia13 from Hervey Bay
Australia wrote:

This palm is an Australian palm and it always will be if you think this is a Californian palm it isn't, it grows in Queensland Australia.

Neutral hawkarica On Mar 29, 2004, hawkarica from Odessa, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This palm is a slow grower in Central Florida and it will get "frazzle top" which I correct with an application of manganese. It is very spiny and will rip you to pieces if you're not careful. It is very elegant looking if given some protection from the wind. It is quite drought tolerant once established. It bears yellow flowers followed by dull black grape sized fruit.

Positive palmbob On Oct 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

THis tree is very similar to Livistona australis, only the fan leaves are even more finely divided and very droopy. It is a slightly faster grower here in So Cal, and has very attractive maroonish, dark green leaves and petioles when young and in full sun. However, it fades to a 'normal' green color with age. Seedlings can sometimes be confused with Livistona mariae or rigida which have even more reddish coloration when young. The latter two are more robust trees and have larger, less finely split leaves. My experience with this species has been good and it is a reliable and attractive grower. Only problem is it has viciously spiny teeth along the petioles which are nearly unparalleled for sharpness in the palm world.
A unique malady to certain palm species is something called 'leaning palm syndrome'. This only seems to happen to a few species, and this is one of them. The palm can otherwise seem totally healthy. No one knows the cause, but it could be related to potasium deficiency, boron deficiency... but no one knows for sure. Without any intervention, these palms will often die, as they start to grow straight into the ground.

Native of Australia, as most Livistonas are... but grows excellently in much of California and very commonly grown here. I don't think anyone has claimed this is a California native (note to australia13 and CoconutFreak)

Not sure how long, if ever, it will take to get in the 'popular' literature, but this palm has been reclassified as Livistona decorum as of 2004.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sunshine Coast,
Queen Creek, Arizona
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Mission Viejo, California
Oceanside, California
San Pedro, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Upland, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Schertz, Texas

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