Caryota mitis Lour.

Etymology Genus From Greek karyon, meaning nut
Species Mild, without spines
Family Arecaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Common Fishtail Palm
Status Native: Common
Form Clustering Palm
Native Distribution Indi, Indonesia, Philippines

Diagnostics:

This is the only Caryota species with its characteristic fishtail leaflets found natively and naturally in our forests. It differs from other cultivated forms in that this is a clustering palm while others are solitary.


Interesting Facts:

From Whitemore (1998), the fluff from the leaves and sheaths can be scraped off to use as tinder. This is known as gobek api in Kelantan, where a piece of buffalo horn with a hole drilled being used as a base, with some of the said tinder fitted into the hole. A piston is then driven sharply to smoulder the tinder and fanned into a flame.


A Fishtail Palm at Yishun Ave 1, 2019.

Flower clusters, extending from top to bottom.

A characteristic frond.

Fish-tailed leaflets.

Fruits.

Saplings.


References

Whitmore TC. (1998) Palms of Malaya. 2nd Edition. White Lotus. 136 pp.




Author: Jake
Posted: 2019-02-10