Common name: Fishtail palm
Botanical name: Caryota species (most common species Caryota mitis, Caryota urens)
Other common names: Clustered fishtail palm, solitary fishtail palm
General description: A group of distinctive palms comprising about twelve different species grown as tub or garden ornamentals. The plants may be either solitary stemmed or clumped.
Flowers: The flowers occur in a many-branched inflorescence of numerous, cream or green coloured flowers.
Leaves: The leaves or fronds are very long (up to 7m) with very distinctive fishtail shaped leaflets.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit are berries about 1cm in diameter, becoming red or black when mature. These are borne on numerous long stems.
Symptoms: The whole plant contains needle-like calcium oxalate crystals which if chewed or eaten can produce a burning sensation in the mouth. Skin contact can result in burning, itching and dermatitis.
Toxicity category: 2, 3