Native to the Southeast Asian tropical forests, the fishtail palm has a wide variety of uses, among them, use as an understory plant for woodland areas, as well as hedge/shrub borders. It naturally grows in clumps and does well as an indoor and outdoor container plant. The palm can grow to a mature height of 25 feet with a crown of around 15 feet. It prefers partial shade but can tolerate full sun and bright indirect light. Propagation is by seed germination or by separating suckers from the clump.
This palm produces a red fruit with a poisonous skin, as well as needle-like hairs throughout the plant. The fruit is toxic when ingested and will cause severe burning when in contact with skin. And the hairs may cause severe-itching, and it found on the entire plant.
The palm is used for food, drink, fuel, and construction. Uses include; edible starch extracted from its stem, young leaves, and the palm heart are eaten; sap can be made into palm sugar or fermented to make alcohol. The palm leaves are used for thatching or woven into various items, and the stem fibers are made into rope. Additionally, the fuzz of the young leaves is perfect tinder for starting fires. Many other uses exist!
- Container plant
- Indoor plant
- Toxic to humans