Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Flowering Fishtail Palm;

Caryota mitis; Please click the picture.

Caryota is a genus of palm trees. They are often known as fishtail palms because of the shape of their leaves. There are about 13 species native to Asia and the South Pacific. One of the more widely known species is Caryota urens, which yields sap used to make an unrefined sugar called jaggery, and also to make palm wine. They are also one of the few Arecaceae with bipinnate foliage. Many grow in mountainous areas and are adapted to warm mediterranean climates as well as subtropical and tropical climates.
The leaves or fronds are very long (up to 7m) with very distinctive fishtail shaped leaflets.

The whole plant contains needle-like calcium oxalate crystals which if chewed or eaten can produce a burning sensation in the mouth. Skin contact can result in burning, itching and dermatitis.

I have not experienced any of the negative aspects of this plant.



The flowers look sensational; with the slightest touch clouds of yellow pollen are released.
When I planted this species 20 years ago I did not know that it was a declared weed!




The fruit are berries about 1cm in diameter, becoming red or black when mature. These are borne on numerous long stems.

Believe it or not:
One of life's simple pleasures is keeping company with good friends.
American Proverb)

20 comments:

Ann said...

I grew this palm in Singapore. You have photographed the flower to make them so beautiful.

I am still in OZ until the 27th. having a great time, if only it is not so hot.

Next time I come in winter, but then, I only have two weeks.

Do you get mango where you are? I feel so sad that people were throwing them away. I love mangoes.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

What a remarkable plant, yet another that I'll never see except possibly in a botanical conservatory. Just amazing.

sweet bay said...

Amazingly-looking flowers!

lotusleaf said...

The fishtail palm is a native of the rainforests of the Indian West coast. I see them in the wild often when I go trekking there. Your palm flowers are very healthy and pretty.

mothernaturesgarden said...

I should have such attractive weeds. It is quite stunning.

Titania said...

Ann, yes we grow many different mangoes in our garden. When we have to many, which happened now, we give them to people who do not grow them,but love them. It is a wonderful, luscious fruit.

Jodi
sweetbay
lotusleaf
mothernaturesgarden
thank you for your visit.

The Rainforest Gardener said...

I sure hope mine makes it... to me it's the palm that says "Southeast Asia" and that of course is the look that I am going for. Beautiful photos!

Stephanie said...

I haven't come across flowers from a palm that's as beautiful and so crowded. Nice palm :-D

MedaM said...

I've never seen that plant before. It looks just amazing. I am really impressed with what beautiful and interesting plants you have in your own garden. You must be very proud of it.

noel said...

aloha titania, wonderful post on your palms, i actually just have a smaller version of this in a pot which i will be transfering to a vacant lot soon to get it gowing. i enjoyed your close up shots also.

Pia K said...

that looks wonderful, the flowers remind me of honeysuckles.

i always find it strange with the weed-not weed thing, who's to say what's not worthy to be called a proper plant or not... diversity is good!

Ann said...

I am still in the Gold Coast, great time, except for the heat. What about your place?

Are you watch Prince William news?

Ann said...

You are very kind to give your mangoes away, instead of throwing them like many people do.

easygardener said...

The picture showing the cascade of open flowers is fascinating. The variety of flower shapes on this planet is a constant source or wonder!

Evelyn Howard said...

Interesting post. Nice pics.

diane said...

It is fun wathing the palm trees open their skirts and flower. I haven't seen this one before. It has a pretty flower. My poor garden is suffering from the heat except the native.

Hort Log said...

This is a lovely palm...the dried-up inflorescence is very ornamental and unworldly too hehe

Hort Log said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have one of these in my garden in Florida. It is a pest!!! The stinging sensation from touching the pant or berries is absolutely unbearable!! My kids screen for hours, I experience it all over my arms and neck each time I work on the tree. I am cutting mine down, just need a has-mat suite to protect me.

Anonymous said...

I had a horrible skin reaction as well when I trimmed some of the seed pods from my Fishtails. Excruciating pain (hundreds of bee stings feeling) from calcium oxalate crystals which are on the seed pods. They might look nice from a distance but beware.

K Hardin, Kaneohe Hawaii