A very slow growing single trucked palm eventually growing to 20-30 m. Cabbage Palms grow in the rainforest, wallum woodland and wet eucalypt forest. The leaves have segments that join at the base giving them their round fan-like appearance. Leaves can grow to 1.8 m in diameter in a mature plant. They are glossy green with spiny stalks.
A hardy plant, the Cabbage Palm tolerates wind and salt, but does best in a damp, semi shaded, sheltered area. It also grows in a pot outside or indoors in a brightly lit room.
Before the trunk grows high, with such large leaves the palm can take up 2-5 m in the garden. However it takes a long time.
You are unlikely to see your Cabbage Palm reach maturity. In their natural habitat, they only grow approximately one metre every 25 years. Botanists have estimated that it takes 182 years for a Cabbage Palm to reach reproductive age.
What’s in a name? The central new shoot of Livistona australis can be eaten, hence the name “Cabbage Palm”. Don’t try it though; you will kill your plant.
Did you know? There are only four palms native to this area. Of the four, the two featured in this series are readily available at native nurseries.
See also Picabeen Palm
The Cabbage Fern at three different stages of maturity
This article is part of our Gardening with natives series.