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Fishtail Palm

Caryota mitis


Caryota mitis Lour. The common name (Fishtail Palm) derives from the shape of the leaves and this variety is locally known as Pugahan. "Pugahan is a palm, differing from other Caryota species in having many suckers and producing clusters of small-sized palms, up to 7 meters tall. Stems are solitary or clustered, slender to massive, with conspicuous nodal rings. Petioles, leaf-sheaths and spathes are scurfily villous. Leaves are 1.2 to 3 meters long; leaflets are obliquely cuneiform, erose and toothed; the upper margin acute. Spadix is scurfy, axillary and pendulous. Male buds are cylindric; male flowers are small, about 5 millimeters long. Fruit is 10 to 13 millimeters in diameter, bluish-black when ripe, containing a single globose seed.


In the garden of of my wife's childhood home, just 40 metres from our house. It was growing in a shaded spot in a corner between the house and an outbuilding. This palm died during the last dry season, but fortunately my wife gathered up some seedlings which were sprouting up around the base of the main plant. She knew that the old palm was at the end of its days and collected the seedlings during the previous rainy season and we now have some around our garden.

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John B.
Spotted by
John B.

Palauig, Central Luzon, Philippines

Spotted on Nov 11, 2013
Submitted on Apr 30, 2022

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