Foxtail palm also known as Wodyetia bifurcate belongs to genus Wodyetia and family Arecaeae. It is a specula palm. The
foxtail is named for its foliage. It is easy to grow. Foxtail palm tolerate a wide range of soils. It grows in full sun to part shade.
This tree has tidy appearance do not needs pruning. It tolerates salt conditions and thrives in temperate coastal climates.
Fox tail palm requires proper amount of water, good drainage and palm friendly fertilizers for proper growth. They require
high humidity. Foxtail palm is drought tolerant and disease resistant to some extent.
Foxtail is planted worldwide as a beautiful ornamental plant. Foxtail palm is highly adaptable and is grown under suitable
environments all over the world. It is native to Australia, endemic to remote area in Queensland where it grows on rocky and
floody scrubland. Tropical to sub tropical environments are suitable for this palm. In Southern California, foxtail palm is
initiated at ground level from large plants. There are huge nurseries of foxtail palm based in Florida.
It is 10 m tall and have 2-3 meter leaves. Each graceful leaf looks like a green plume fox tail. Young leaves are covered with
dense scales. It has gray to brown trunk and also have circular ring like leaf scars. Its trunk is very similar to king palm. Trunk
is smooth thin and self cleaning. Its stem is solitary, light gray and bottled shape. It is 6-15 meter tall and 20-25cm in
diameter. Foxtail palm has green leaf sheath on trunk which extends below crown. This feature is known as crown shaft.
Young fruit is olive green to green. Mature fruit is orange to red and is ovoid toglobose in nature. Flowers come from base of
crown shaft. Its foliage is green to light green in color. Seeds of foxtail grow veryfast when planted under proper conditions.
species associated with foxtail palm are:
Low form of Ficus oblique
Vines capparis sp.
Palm oil is used as healing mixture.
Red palm oil was used in treatment of mysterious diseases.
Palm wine was used as small pox treatment.
Leaf blight: trunk of foxtail palm has arching fronds ,which are infected when plant is young due to which leaf spots occur
that matures to blights. Early spots are brown, fungus spreads and kills the leaflets. Fungal disease in foxtail palm is
associated with Iron deficiency. It is treated by iron rich nutrients and pruning of leaflets. Treatment with fungicide is also
Overhead watering to foxtail palm cause fungal infections which leads to brown spots. Pathologists recommend to stop
overwatering and sprinkling. Proper ventilation with increased air circulation is required.
Ganoderma but rot:
This is caused by Ganoderma zonatum. A conch type shell is present on the surface of trunk of dyeing foxtail palm. It is a
deadly disease which has no cure.
Fusarium wilt is a palm destroying disease , caused by Fusarium oxysporumwas observed in palms at Sydney, Australia for
the first time. . This causes discoloration of vascular bundles. This disease causes frond death and gradually whole plant die.
INSECT PESTS OF FOXTAIL:
Mealy bugs, there are different types of mealy bugs some effect root of palm, some effect bud area. Most of them
colonizes new growths of palm.
Banana moth larvae and grubs
These pests can be controlled by root drench with an active ingredient Imidacloprid with Dominon.
Cold climates cause crown rot, root rot and plant die.
Fronds turns brown in crown rot.
When roots are over watered for long they cause root rot.
Scales are present on underside of newer leaves.
Recent development of ornamental diseases in Pakistan:
Diseases of ornamental perennial plants including foxtail have been addressed under the Higher Education Commission
Project No. 2762 at Fungal Molecular Biology Lab, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. This
project is run by Dr. Imran ul Haq (Assistant Professor) aims to manage the all possible diseases of perennial ornamental
plants prevailing in Pakistan. No sooner, there will be satisfactory progress in the management of these ailments under this
Foxtail palm is an important ornamental and medicinal plant. It has aesthetic as well as economic value, but insect pests and
diseases are continuously retarding its progress in Pakistan. It is important to work over its biotic and abiotic disorders for its