The cabbage-tree palm, Livistona australis, is in the Arecaceae family. It is a tall, slender palm growing up to about 25 m in height and 0.35 m diameter. It is crowned with dark, glossy green leaves on petioles 2 m long. It has leaves plaited like a fan; the cabbage of these is small but sweet. In summer it bears flower spikes with sprigs of cream-white flowers. The trees accumulate dead fronds or leaves, which when the plant is in cultivation are often removed by a arborist.
Seeking protection from the sun, early European settlers in Australia used fibre from the native palm to create the cabbage tree hat, a distinctive form of headwear during the colonial era.