The distinctive species can be recognised by the slender, light grey trunk, pale grey crownshaft and an attractive crown of arching fronds with leaflets irregularly arranged to give a whored appearance.
The leaflets of young plants are broader than in mature plants and the distinctive, silvery-white undersurace is very noticeable. Clusters of whitish flowers are followed by dull pink to purplish fruit each 3-3.5 cm long.
This species is native to wet, coastal rainforests of northeastern Queenland, Australia. It is an excellent palm for group planting and is relatively fast growing in the tropics. Young plants need a sheltered position for te first 3 to 5 years. Best growth is achieved in well-structured, loamy soil and plants respond to mulches, fertilisers and regular watering.