Family: Arecaceae
Common Name: Walking Stick Palm

Ten species of these small, delicate palms occur in rainforests of northern Queensland, Australia and New Guinea as understorey plants, with a single species coming from southern Queensland and New South Wales. They are feather palms, but have no crownshaft and the inflorescences are simple, unbranched spikes. The stems are seldom taller than 3 m (10 ft) or thicker than 4 cm (1½ in) and in all but one species, which has a solitary stem, they produce a cluster of stems. The pinnate leaves are rarely more than 1 m (3 ft) long and the leaflets often vary in width. Wiry flower spikes bear tiny, greenish flowers, followed by small, bright scarlet fruits with crisp, juicy, edible flesh surrounding a small, soft seed. The fruits may be densely packed on the spikes, bending them downwards. They are not widely grown, but highly recommended.


L. minor grows mainly at low altitudes in North Queensland. The stems are around 2 m (6 ft) in height and 2.5 cm (1 in) in diam­eter, and the leaves are about 60 cm (24 in) long, with sparse leaflets.

L. monostachya, the southern species, has one stem, to 3 m (10 ft) or sometimes 4 m (13 ft) tall and 2.5-4 cm (1-1½ in) in diameter. The leaves, to 1 m (3 ft) long, are variable in width and number. The very ornamental, fruiting spikes ripen in late summer or autumn, hanging well below the leaves.

L. palmerana occurs at the base of the highest Queensland mountains. In the young plant, the leaves are only 20-30 cm (8-12 in) long, each with only two pairs of broad leaflets, making it extremely pretty. At maturity, it reaches 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, with several narrow stems and small leaflets of nixed widths.


Except in subtropical and tropical climates, grow in a warm, humid conservatory or greenhouse, in pots or tubs of soil-based pot­ting compost. Plants need good light, but shade from direct sun. Liquid feed regularly in the growing season to encourage rapid growth. Grow in a shady spot with well drained yet moist, humus-rich soil. Propagate from fresh seed germinated in 24°C (75°F). It may take sev­eral months to germinate. Some suckering species may be increased by division of the clumps.


Subtropical and tropical only; warmer parts of zone 10.

Linaria      Linum