Fishtail Palm

Fishtail Palm

Fishtail Palm - Click to Enlarge

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Common Names Fishtail Palm
Scientific Name Caryota mitis
Hardiness Zones 10-11
Mature Height 15-25 Feet
Growth Rate Moderate
Flower Prominence Inconspicuous
Flower Color Full sun to partial shade
Blooms Average water needs
Water Needs Consistent moist soil, Moderately Drought Tolerant
Cold Tolerance Moderately Cold Hardy when mature
Light Needs Full Sun to Partial Shade

Named for the shape of their leaves, Fishtail Palms are a lovely addition to your landscape.

Their flower clusters make an interesting contrast to the leaves, leaving the impression of a visiting not-so-close relative. They do require some watching after—keeping the soil moist and making sure they get plenty of sun in the Orlando area. They’re a little iffy in cold temperatures when they’re young. Give them plenty of room and a dominant position, as they can grow tall quite quickly. Originally natives of India, they will give your lawn an exotic look and surrounding them with Birds of Paradise will emphasize their striking appearance.

Interesting to note that in India, the stem yields an edible starch and the palm heart is a typical food as well. The sap is made into a palm sugar or fermented to make a liqueur. Might be fun to have friends over for Fishtail cocktails.