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palmhonee

Foxtail VS Fishtail

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palmhonee

I live in the Midwest, so of course we get the standard variety of palms.  I am probably the only one that sorts through their plants like a mad woman lookin for that "oddity".  I came across what appears to be a fishtail, but my heart wants it to be a foxtail and a nursery down the street did have one a few years ago, which I bought of course.  The trunk had the velvety rough finish and the leaves did look just like fish tails, so whatcha think?  Another question,  I know fishtails die after they flower so that has steered me away of buying one, but I would like to add one to my collection, how long before they flower, since my would be in a pot is't entire life, perhaps it would never reach flowering.

Please respond.

Thanks!

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LJG

I use to get confused with small ones. But it is eay to tell the differrence. If the leaflets come off of a secondary stem, then it is a fishtail. Fishtails are bipinnate.

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paulgila

you can't fool a palm into not flowering by potting it :D

i have heard that the usual lifespan of a caryota can be anywhere from 15 to 25 years,but if you get a caryota mitis,or "clustering fishtail",when one stem dies there will be more to take its place.i have been seeing this palm in alot of "indoor"situations,such as restaurants & shopping malls lately,so that fits into your plan to pot it.

good luck!

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BS Man about Palms

Once you've been around this site enough, the difference is fairly easy to spot, but until then... The Foxtail frond kinda looks like a giant "pipecleaner".  Whereas, as Len mentioned, if you get "2nd" branches on a frond its a Fishtail.

Also, the only Fishtail to really have potted for years is a Caryota Mitis.  Any thing else will get Very large...!

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PersistentPalms

Not sure what size plants your looking at...  sometimes palms have to be at least a couple gallon size to tell which is which...  This is a hot topic for debate around here!  Pictures speak a thousand words...  so here's my two cents worth!   :cool:

This is a small "Foxtail Palm" a.k.a. Wodyetia bifurcata

Wodyetia.bifurcata.175mm.pot.jpg

And this is a small "Clustering Fishtail Palm" a.k.a. Cayota mitis

Caryota_mitis_2003.JPG

Hope that helps a bit!

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osideterry

One more thing to keep in mind. Sometimes Caryota urens are sold 3 in a pot and simply called "fishtail palm". You want a Caryota mitis, so check to see if there are multiple little suckers and not just 3 equal-sized trunks. The good news is they are common, and can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, and even at Wal-Mart.

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MattyB

Hi Palmhonee,  Welcome!  Just for clarification here's what the bipinnate leaf looks like or the secondary branches BS was talking about.  

Pinnate on top (like a foxtail)

Bipinnate on bottom (like a fishtail)

post-126-1172682492_thumb.jpg

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Walter John

Excellent graphical lesson MattyB. Just wanted to say to piouspalms that the AKA names you typed should be the other way round technically, as in Wodyetia bifurcata aka foxtail, etc. Sounds picky but for newcomers it's best to get off on the right direction aka foot.  :)

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PersistentPalms

Wal is right...  I am still the new kid on the block and was definately trying to look like I knew something!   :;):    :laugh:

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paulgila

no worries(as wal might say),i feel the same way.hopefully someday i actually will know what i'm talking about :P

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