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Australia has over fifty known palm species that are native with some being endemic. They are found mostly in the subtropical and tropical regions of the continent, but there are also species that exist in temperate and arid areas.
The Daintree Rainforest in nothern Australia is particularly rich in palm species, this forest is the oldest existing tropical lowland rainforest in the world. In contrast, Palm Valley in the heart of the harsh and arid Australian Outbackis the only place on Earth where Red Cabbage Palms grow in the world. This area gives a glimpse of what Central Australia use to be like when a tropical climate prevailed in that region. These palms survive today despite the harsh and relentless surrounding desert, because of the existence of ground water otherwise known as an oasis. The Cabbage-tree Palm grows further south than any other native palm.
The Fan Palm is perhaps the most iconic palm in Australia and it is often used in tourism brochures advertising the unique Daintree Rainforest where it is found. With a central trunk over 6m (30 feet) and a crown of wedged shaped palm leaves that fit together into a circular pattern, it is distinct and iconic.
The Australian palm genera can be summarised according to their origins as follows:Endemic species Archontophoenix, Arenga, Carpentaria, Calamus, Caryota, Cocos, Corypha, Gronophyllum,Laccospadix, Normanbya, Oraniopsis, Ptychosperma, and Wodyetia. Non Endemic Gulubia, Hydriastele, Licuala, Linospadix, Livistona, and Nypa.