Caryota mitis

Fishtail Palm                                          

 

Harrisburg Area Community College, East 204, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster PA

 

Julie Blymire

‚Äč

This tropical palm, native to Southeast Asia (India, Java, South China), is part of HACC's Garden Room, a sun-lit atrium in the middle of the East Build- ing that was installed by the firm, Interior Green.  Its nickname stems from "the ends of the leaflets looking like (gold)fish tails," IG president Julie Blymire said.

 

This multi-trunked tree stands about 18 feet.  C. mitis has been naturalized in Hawaii, California, and South Flori- da.  Its berries are toxic.

 

This amazing species has an unusual flowering habit.  Cream-colored flow- ers first develop at the top of a given trunk, then subsequent flowers move downward.  Once the final flowering is reached, that trunk dies. The clump survives by producing more stems.

 

[Last photo is not of the HACC speci- men.]