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Fishtail Palm Caryota mitis

Phonetic Spelling
kair-ee-OH-tah MY-tiss
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The Burmese fishtail palm is a large, subtropical, perennial flowering tree native to South East Asia where it is most often found in moist organic soil over limestone in mesic hammocks and disturbed wooded areas. The plant can reach a height of 40 feet with upright and arching branches, and solitary or clustered, unbranched stems. The leaves are large, long-stalked, arching, and bi-pinnately divided into leaflets which are widest above the middle and irregularly toothed at apex. The pinnules are asymmetrical and incised and resemble fish tails, hence the common name. The purple flowers are small and bloom in the summer and the fruit is a fleshy berry.

The Burmese fishtail palm is sometimes used as an indoor ornamental in a container with rich soil and prefers medium light and low to medium relative humidity. It does best in warm climates and will tolerate a light frost, but is not cold hardy. You should water the plant only when the soil is dry. The plant has shallow roots and should be protected from wind.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

This tree is susceptible to insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#interiorscape#palm#large leaves#fern-like#fantz#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#interiorscape#palm#large leaves#fern-like#fantz#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Caryota
    Species:
    mitis
    Family:
    Arecaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Burmese fishtail palm is used as a poison and a medicine and for fuel and food.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East China to Indo-China and Malesia, India, Phillipines.
    Distribution:
    Introduced into Florida and Puerto Rico.
    Edibility:
    Seed kernels are edible, but the berries are toxic.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy berry
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Mature plants first flower at the top of the stem then flower down the stem. After the last flowering, the stem dies and should be removed. The clump, however, will produce more stems.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Sheath
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are large, long-stalked, arching, bi-pinnately divided into leaflets which are widest above the middle and irregularly toothed at apex. Bipinnate; pinnules asymmetrical, deltoid, apex highly incised; sheaths felted and scaly, disintegrating into black fibers. The leaves are large at 6 1/2 to 13 feet long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Solitary or clustered, unbranched stems up to 33 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter. Leaf bases and sheaths fibrous, becoming bare and ringed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    The berries of this plant are toxic and can cause sever pain in the mouth if eaten. Can also cause minor skin irritation that can last several minutes. Other symptoms include burning and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat; difficulty speaking; and redness and swelling of skin and eyes after handling berries.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits