SCIENTIFIC NAME: Caryota
COMMON NAME(S): Fishtail palm
FAMILY: ARECACEAE (PALMAE) - Palm family
ORIGIN: Tropical Asia, 12 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Single- or multiple-stemmed
LEAVES: Alternate, feather-like, but the leaflets are further divided into secondary leaflets
FLOWERS: Small, greenish, separate male and female, clustered in threes on branched, pendent flower stems
FLOWERING SEASON: Anytime of year when plant reaches certain age
FRUITS: Red to black, fleshy, one-seeded
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: The fruit of all fishtail palms is highly irritating to the skin. Species commonly cultivated include C. mitis Lour., a clustering species, and C. urens L. and C. rumphiana Mart., two single-stemmed species.