Thursday, 24 January 2013

Caryota mitis

Commonly known as Fishtail Palm, this palm is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.

Growing up to about 8m, the Fishtail Palm grows in dense clusters that can reach across 4m at its widest. The trunks of the palm are light green to graying in colour with widely spaced leaf nodes. 

The leaves of the Fishtail Palm are bipinnate and triangular with a fishtail shape, by which its common name is derived from. 

The Fishtail Palm has a unique flowering habit whereby the inflorescence develops from the top of the trunk first followed by subsequent bunches moving downwards. The palm will die once it reaches is final seeding. The flowers are a pale cream colour, while the small 1 to 2cm fruits are reddish-orange in colour. The fruit contains crystal oxalate which my irritate the eyes and skin. 

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