Caryota monostachya

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Caryota (kahr-ee-OH-tah)
Caryota monostachya bloei.jpg
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Coral Gables, FL.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Caryota (kahr-ee-OH-tah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Clustering, rarely solitary.
Leaf type: Bi-pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
dan sui yu wei kui (China). Dwarf Fishtail Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

China South-Central, China Southeast, and Vietnam. Lowland to montane rain forests,
often on limestone soils; below 1400 m. Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan (Vietnam).


Stems clustered, with few stems per cluster, to 3 m tall, 2-4 cm in diam. Leaves borne almost all along stem; petioles 80-150 cm; rachis 1-2.5 m; primary pinnae 4-9 per side of rachis; secondary pinnae 5 or 6 per side of secondary rachis, with scarcely jagged margins and short apices. Inflorescences borne among leaves, to 1 m; rachillae 1-3, 30-40 cm; male flowers to 17 mm; sepals 3-5 mm; petals purple to maroon, about 17 mm; stamens 60-75; female flowers to 8 mm; sepals 3-5 mm; petals 5-8 mm. Fruits brownish purple, globose, to 3.5 cm in diam. Editing by edric.


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Comments and Curiosities

If you think a Caryota will get way too large for your garden, consider this plant from subtropical forests in southern China and Vietnam: This well-behaved dwarf species will grow no taller than 3 m (10 ft.), sporting densely clustering, slender trunks and graceful bipinnate leaves. Apart from its small size, it is immediately recognized by its inflorescence that consists of a single, unbranched spike. Caryota monostachya is a little-known species that still is extremely rare in cultivation. (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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