Caryota mitis

Fishtail Palm                                          


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


Julie Blymire


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 Building that was installed by 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 at about 18 feet.  The palm has been natural- ized in Hawaii, California, and South Florida.  Its berries are toxic.


This amazing species has an unusual flowering habit.  Cream-colored flowers 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 from the HACC specimen.]