Now synonymous with the Licuala aurantica, the Licuala paludosa, or “Golden Licuala” is native to Borneo, Cambodia, Malaya, Sumatra, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its native habitat is a peat swamp forest, where plants are inundated with water for six months or more per year.
Licuala are beautiful fan palms, with the large leaves mostly circular in outline, sometimes undivided but more usually divided into wedge-shaped segments that reach the base. It produces long hanging inflorescences and orange-red fruit.
The leaves of the Golden Licuala are used in southeast Asian cuisine in a dish called Ketupat, a dumpling made from rice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven Goldan Licuala leaf pouch.
There are 27 Golden Licuala thriving in the Merwin Palm Forest.
Want to “virtually explore” the Merwin Palm Collection? Search through our archive of Palm Facts of the Week, featuring palms hand-planted by W.S Merwin. To search through the Online Merwin Palm Database, visit this link.
If you’re inspired to help The Merwin Conservancy preserve and care for the world-renowned Merwin Palm Collection into the future, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Featured photo by Larry Cameron.