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Common Name: Cabbage Palm
Livistona australis is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Australia - Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland.
Moist sheltered localities, usually near the coast[
], especially in eucalyptus forests[
Requires a sheltered position in a fertile moist but well-drained soil that is preferably neutral to acid[
]. Although plants prefer a deep moist soil, they can also succeed in dry climates[
]. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade[
]. Plants naturally grow in forest habitats and, especially when young, require some shade from the sun for at least part of the day[
This species is not very hardy in Britain where it usually requires greenhouse protection[
]. Plants are hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[
], though this cannot be translated directly to British gardens because of our cooler summers and longer colder and wetter winters. Plants have been known to tolerate temperatures down to at least 0°c for short periods[
], they are also very amenable to pot cultivation and can be grown successfully in containers for many years[
Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[
]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[
]. Palms can also be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established - removing many of the leaves can also help[
Plants are slow-growing[
Young unfolded leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The young and tender leaves are eaten like cabbages[
]. The young leaf buds are often used but, since the plants are unable to produce side-shoots, this effectively kills the plant[
The leaves are used for thatching and making hats[
]. They are large and fibrous and can also be used for making baskets, bags, nets etc[
Seed - sow in early spring in a warm greenhouse, using deep containers in order to avoid root constriction and plating two seeds in each container[
]. The seed of this species has a longer viability than that of most palms[
]. If necessary, thin the seedlings to the best plant and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least two years. If trying them outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters.