One of the more distinctive palm species seen in the Miami area, the foxtail palm is easily recognized by its unique “foxy” appearance.
The smooth light to dark gray self-cleaning trunk is topped with a flashy crown of bushy, bright green arching fronds, each of which resembles a jaunty foxtail. Creamy flowers appear on stalks that grow from beneath the crown. The fruit ripens to a bright orange-red, increasing the foxtail’s showy look.
This Australian native is a relatively new species. It was only discovered growing in the wild in the early 1980s. Its unusual fronds and hardy nature have made it a favorite Southern Florida landscape palm in only a few years.
The foxtail grows quickly in almost any soil and can be cultivated indoors in large containers. When planted outdoors the foxtail palm develops a deeper than usual root system, making it especially resistant to high winds and drought. It is moderately salt tolerant and grows well in partial shade to full sun.
Unlike many other palms that present stately, flat-leaved fronds, the foxtail has a fun, playful look that makes it ideal for planting in rows along parkways, pairing at an entryway or potting indoors on a balcony or lanai.