Ptychosperma elegans, Fam. Arecaceae
Tall, slender, single stemmed feather palm to 15m. Ptychosperma from the Greek ‘ptychos’ fold, cleft or layer and ‘sperma’ seed, referring to the five clefts in each seed; elegans from the Latin meaning elegant, neat or tasteful, referring to the habit.
|Form or habit:||Palm or palm-like plant|
1-2.5m long, pinnately divided, dark green on upper surface, slightly paler below. Terminal leaflets are joined at the base and resemble a fish tail.
|Flower description:||Panicle (30-60cm long) with semi-pendulous branchlets bearing both male and female flowers. White flowers, about 8mm in diameter, fragrant.|
|Fruit description:||Ovoid, bright red when ripe, 14-18mm long, containing one seed. Seed have five longitudinal grooves and are surrounded by a thin fibrous, fleshy layer. Autumn to summer.|
|Distribution||Queensland, Northern Territory.|
|Food source for:||Fruit eaten by the green catbird and metallic starling. Larval food plant of the orange palm dart and yellow palm dart butterflies.|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Notes:||The flesh of the red fruit is edible. Grow from fresh seed. Once used to make split can fishing rods.|
|Information sources:||Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.|