palms

Cape tribulation rain forests are home to many different palms trees .

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Rain forests of Queensland are home to more than 3,000 plant species .

None embody the word ‘tropical’ more than the palm trees.

The palms are a much admired and loved member of the rain forest.

They grow from sea-level to high altitude, on the forest floor and up into the canopy.

Their evergreen foliage and rich array of fruits and flowers create a visual delight .

For all visitors to the forest, and a bountiful food supply for many animals.

Millions of years ago palms originated in India, before spreading across the northern and southern continents.

They have inhabited parts of the Australian continent for more than 55 million years.

The Wet Tropics Rain forests are home to many palms, the most spectacular of which can be seen from Skyrail Rain forest Cable-way and up close at Skyrail’s mid-stations.

Perhaps the most recognisable is the Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi), which is so-named for the appearance of its pleated leaf segments, which resemble a Chinese fan.

The Fan Palm is a particularly slow growing species, which prefers shady areas with poor drainage. Although you will see many examples of small fan palms in the forest .

Throughout gardens across Cairns), they can reach heights of over 20m with leaves up to 2m wide.

Various species of the Licuala genus can be found throughout Asia and the South Pacific .

Australian Fan Palm is endemic to Tropical North Queensland and is the only member of this genus to exist in Australia.