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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

The Foxtail Palm #2

Botanical Name : Wodyetia bifurcata

One of the most difficult to spot (besides spotting various palm species!) for a novice like me, is that of the infloresence and frutescence of the palm trees.  In tropical Malaysia, plants and trees flower and fruit in their own time since close to none are affected by seasonal changes which we don't have, other than the monsoon (more rain!) and non-monsoon months.

Anyone ever noticed how rare it is to see palm trees laden with fruits? Even if they have had, unannounced, to the non-attentive, one would have missed the most highlighted event in any palm's life.

Unlike the coconut and oil palms, where their fruit bearings are a regular feature on the tropical landscape what with the non-commercial species?  Except for the few which I could count on the palm of my hand, sighting this arresting rows of Foxtail Palms with trailing frutescence in Bangsar KL (an upmarket residential suburb) was pretty awesome!
foxtailed in Bangsar

bunches of joy
Having caught glimpse of a bunch a week ago, felt I shouldn't leave it too long in case they get lopped off by the council maintenance team, eaten by frugivores or simply terminated by anti-social behavior especially with anything on public land!  Fortunately, it was still there and perhaps a hundred, yes 100 more since the palms adorned both sides of a very long street! 

The bountiful bunches held fruits in various stages of development. As any palm owner would yearn for, their labour of love coming to fruition and what a glorious sight above except for the mess created by the fallen ones below...
From the ground, I had my pick of 3 plump ones which looked like any delicious red plum or nectarine.

Here's a section of the fruit showing a thin layer of juicy orange flesh while exposing a black seed with silky surrounds. Apparently edible but bland according to some notes.

As for me, definitely not game enough to try an unmarketed fruit even though it looks safe to eat ;).


  1. They make a great substitute for Royal Palms in residential landscapes, since they don't get quite as big. These are one of my favorites but pretty chancy in my zone 9a climate.

  2. Hi Rainforest Gardener,
    Thanks for your comment. Agree, they do present a pretty space articulation element without getting too tall. I feel this being more functional besides easy management!

    Enjoy your tropical garden!
    cheers :)