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Foxtail Palm Tree

Foxtail palm tree in the landscape

The Foxtail Palm Tree, scientific name Wodyetia bifurcata, has the most spectacular foliage displays of all palms.  The Foxtail palm has gained popularity because it is very durable and will tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions like alkaline limestone soils and rocky sands. It has a deep root system that helps it to withstand high winds and makes it easier to tolerate drought. The Foxtail Palm can also grow indoors.

Foxtail Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Wodyetia bifurcata

Common names: The Foxtail Palm is also known as the Fox Tail Palm and Wodyetia Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to Australia.

Appearance: Wodyetia bifurcata has a solitary, self-cleaning trunk with a smooth green crownshaft. The trunk is slender, dark grey to light grey, closely ringed, and slightly swollen at the base. The Foxtail Palm has about 8-10 arching leaves which grow up to 6-10ft long. Pinnate, or feather-like, fronds emerge from a smooth green crown shaft that looks like the tail of the fox, hence the name Foxtail Palm.

Flowers/Fruits: The Foxtail Palm produces branched flower stalks of creamy inflorescence which grow at the base of the crown shaft. The Foxtail Palm has male and female flowers growing on the same plant. Flowers are followed by clusters of fruits that are oval, about 2 in. long, with a single seed inside. Fruits are green when young but turn red to orange-red when they ripen.

Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast. It is a fast-growing palm that can get up to 20 – 30 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: It can tolerate cold down to 30F and should be protected from frost. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 10a (30 to 35 F) – 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. Foxtail likes deep watering with well-drained soil.

Maintenance: Easy. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous-release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds that take anywhere from 3-12 months to germinate.

Top Benefits Of The Foxtail Palm Tree


  1. Aesthetic Appeal: The Foxtail Palm tree adds a touch of tropical beauty to any landscape, with its lush, full fronds and slim, graceful trunk.

  2. Tolerance to Conditions: This palm tree is known for its resilience, able to withstand a variety of soil conditions and weather extremes, including frost.

  3. Low Maintenance: Foxtail Palms require minimal maintenance, needing only occasional watering and pruning.

  4. Rapid Growth: These trees grow relatively fast, quickly becoming a prominent feature in any garden or landscape.

  5. Attracts Wildlife: The tree’s flowers and fruits often attract a variety of birds, adding to the biodiversity of the environment.

  6. Safe for Surroundings: Unlike other palms, the Foxtail Palm doesn't have invasive roots, making it safer to plant near buildings or walkways.

  7. Shade Provider: Its large, canopy-like fronds provide ample shade, creating a cool retreat on hot days.

  8. Air Purification: Like other plants, Foxtail Palms contribute to air purification, absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen.

  9. Non-Toxic: This palm is non-toxic, making it safe for homes with pets or children.

  10. Disease Resistance: Foxtail Palms are resistant to many common plant diseases, contributing to their longevity and low maintenance.

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