Finke Gorge National Park
Palm Valley is located in a narrow gorge within the Finke Gorge National Park. Within this gorge are the Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae), once thought to be part of the remnants of a tropical rainforest that covered this area 60 million years ago. Recent studies have now disputed this theory (links to articles below).
There are about 12,000 palms in the park, the oldest being 300 years old and providing a unique attraction for visitors and scientist alike.
Livistona mariae is threatened by increased fire risk as a result of the invasion of Buffel Grass and Couch Grass into its core habitat.
The total wild count of the Red Cabbage Palm in 1987 was approximately 12,000 plants, of which, the great majority were seedlings. The greatest concentration of Livistona mariae palms occurs at Palm Valley. In 1987 this population was estimated to contain 1,280 adult plants.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Monocots
- Clade: Commelinids
- Order: Arecales
- Family: Arecaceae
- Genus: Livistona
- Species: L. mariae
- Binomial name: Livistona mariae
Footnote & References
- National Recovery Plan for the Central Australian Cabbage Palm, Livistona mariae subsp. Mariae, Northern Territory Government, https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/09291c11-30c3-4c53-a5f9-36827328deaf/files/livistona-mariae-subsp-mariae.pdf
- Threatened Species of the Northern Territory: Livistona mariae, https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/208471/livistona-mariae.pdf
- Desert palms ‘not so ancient after all’, by Anna Salleh, 7 March 2012, ABC Science, https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/03/07/3447620.htm
- Busting a botanical myth, by John Pickrell, 14 December 2016, Australian Geographic, https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/austropalaeo/2016/12/busting-a-botanical-myth/