Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Toddy Palm, Fishtail Wine Palm, Jaggery Palm
Caryota urens

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caryota (kair-ee-OH-tuh) (Info)
Species: urens (UR-ens) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

over 40 ft. (12 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
This plant is monocarpic
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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By palmbob
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By timrann
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There are a total of 17 photos.
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1 positive
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive timrann On Feb 16, 2006, timrann from Other
Mauritius wrote:

Have learn today how nasty the fruits could be ( of this Caryota ) Collected seeds at a round-about from an almost dead tree and cleaned it with bare hands ; have never dealed with such an irritating thing. Have often cleaned Hyophorbe Lagenicaulis ( Bottle Palm ) the same way , it is also irritating BUT NOT LIKE THIS CARYOTA URENS . (May be it should change the name from C. Urens to Devil fruit Palm ) Should have read Palmbobs comments before collecting these seeds !!! .But still a nice palm. Some of them already dead and removed , but sadly replaced by Roystoneas .

Neutral BayAreaTropics On Oct 15, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Actually, the ones at the Oakland Ca. palmetum have flowered at the ripe age of twenty something. Huge dead trees....I think i will keep mine as a big potted patio plant.

Neutral Kylecawaza On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

In the San Francisco area you can look at this tree as a more permanent plant since it would grow very slowly and would not flower for about 80 years. Caryota Gigas would be a better option though, although it will look yellow without ennough Nitrogen.

Negative palmbob On Jul 28, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is an impressive palm, and one of the more commonly grown Caryotas (Fishtail Palms) around Southern California... but it has its problems. The main problem being they are monocarpic. Once they flower, they croak, and then there is a monstrous dead tree to remove from your backyard, or whereever it is. And it's not a simple tree to remove. Caryotas are famous for having some of the hardest wood in the plant kingdom. Chainsaws will barely cut into one alive, and they seem to get harder once they die. On top of that, Caryotas have wimpy root systems. I guess where they're from (the Asian tropics usually) there is little wind and no need for large root systems. Anyway, a good Santa Ana wind will easily knock one of these trees over, and they can weigh several tons. Not good for the surrounding plants, not to mention homes. Lastly, and not least, these huge palms produce thousands of seed during their going away party, and this seed is highly toxic as well as irritating to the touch (full of stinging oxylates), making a slippery, gooey and marble like surface of irritating seeds all around their base. Sure they look great. But careful when they die or in the wind!

By the way, this palm is NOT a good one to move, once you planted it. And don't even buy a large one for planting, either. Often moving or disturbing the roots in any way once over a certain size shocks the palm and it will seed prematurely and die. They are one of the fastest growing palms in existence, so don't be in any hurry. Enjoy them while they're small.
There is some confusion about the true identity of this palm. Dr. Hodel, a palm expert, thinks that the true C urens is actually NOT the plant everyone has in cultivation, and that that palm is Caryota maxima. They look a LOT alike... so just for confusion sake, I am going to ignore that possibility... for now.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Encino, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California (2 reports)
Manhattan Beach, California
Oceanside, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Rowland Heights, California
San Diego, California
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Big Pine Key, Florida
Portland, Oregon
Corpus Christi, Texas
Vancouver, Washington

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