Licuala cordata is a tropical palm from Borneo that can also be grown as a house plant. Known as the fan pal, it has attractive pleated leaves that are round or heart shaped and divided. These leaves can reach up to 60cm across. It's popular for its spectacular leaves but may not be the ideal choice for beginners as it needs particular conditions to thrive.

Coming from tropical forests, Licuala cordata requires a temperature above 20ºC and a spot in bright, indirect light, away from draughts. It thrives in high humidity so an ideal location for it would be a bathroom. If humidity is low, mist your plant regularly. Let the soil dry out between waterings.

It is hard to get hold of Licuala cordata in the UK, but it’s close relative, Licuala grandis, is available from a few online suppliers. This variety is known as the ruffled fan palm and has similar pleated leaves but they are semi-circular and not divided, around 30-90cm across. Indoors, it will grow to around 1.8m tall and makes an impressive statement in the corner of a room.

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Advice on buying Licuala cordata

  • Licuala cordata is very rare in the UK and hard to source. Its close relative Licuala grandis is similar and can be grown as a house plant, so it's worth looking for this one instead 
  • Check you have the right conditions in your home before buying this house plant as it needs warm temperatures and humidity
  • Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before buying

Where to buy Licuala grandis

Plant calendar


Licuala and wildlife

Licuala has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Licuala poisonous?

Licuala is harmful if ingested. Its foliage is toxic.

Toxic to:
Is known to attract Cats
Is known to attract Dogs
No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock
Is not known to attract People