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Licuala spinosa


Licuala spinosa

Family Name: Arecaceae (Palmae)
Synonyms: Licuala horrida Blume, Licuala pilearia, Licuala ramosa
Common Name: Palas, Mangrove Fan Palm, Spiny Licuala Palm


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Palm (Cluster Palm)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial


Native Distribution S.E.A
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Foliage Costapalmate leaves with a stiff, circular leaf blade, multi-ribbed segments, forming a broken circle, squared-off ends. The petioles are viciously armed with spines.
Flowers Inflorescence are branched to two orders in long drooping spikes. 
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: Young leaves are used to make Ketupat Daun Palas; a dish commonly eaten during Muslim festivals like Hari Raya Aidilfitri. (Credit: Prof. Mohamed Maketab)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Container Planting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun, Full Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Soil pH Range From 6.6
Soil pH Range To 7.5
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Palm - Cluster)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Palm) Clustering Habit, Aboveground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Seed Description Small and round

Image Repository



Master ID 1354
Species ID 5129
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 04 August 2022.