Picking Foxtail Palm Seeds – How To Collect Foxtail Palm Seeds:
The picking of foxtail palm (Femina lutea) is one of the most popular activities among farmers and villagers. They are used to collect the fruits from the trees when they grow too large to pick manually. There are different methods of collecting them but all involve using a tool called a “pickle” or “picker”.
A pickle is a container with holes drilled into it so that water collects inside. When the fruit is placed in the pickle, the liquid drains out and eventually drips onto the ground where it becomes part of a natural fertilizer.
In some parts of Thailand, like in Chiang Mai province, there are many small villages where people gather together every year to celebrate their harvest festivals. These festivals are known as “klong kong” which means “eating festival”. During these celebrations, villagers gather around fire pits to eat the fruits of the foxtail palms.
How To Pick Foxtail Palm Seeds?
There are several ways to pick foxtail palm seeds. Some people prefer to use a stick while others choose to use a net or basket made out of leaves. In any case, picking foxtail palm seeds is not easy work! Here’s how to do it.
You will need: a basket or bag, a stick, a knife, and a foxtail palm tree.
First you must go up into the tree and cut off all of the seed pods with your knife. Next you must carefully remove each individual seed from the fruit itself. This can be time-consuming work so you might want to fill your basket half full with seed shells before moving on to the next step.
But be careful! The foxtail palm fruit looks similar to a cacti so you don’t want to make the same mistake twice by accidentally filling your basket with those spiky fruits.
Wash all the seeds in a nearby stream or pond then set them out to dry in the sun. Next, place them in a container and carry them home. Place each container somewhere that is dark and dry but not hot like a basement or root cellar.
Check them periodically to see if they are sprouting. If so, it will only be a matter of weeks before you can plant the seeds in your garden and watch them grow into new foxtail palm trees!
What Are Foxtail Palms?
Foxtail palms are trees that are native to many parts of the world. They can grow up to seventy feet in height and live for hundreds of years. The trunk of the tree is brown in color and divided into rings that mark the age of a foxtail palm. The leaves are long and thin and can grow up to ten feet in length. At the top of the tree a tuft of leaves surrounds a sturdy, bright purple flower bud. When these buds mature they produce an explosive yellow or golden fruit that has a cluster of long, thin seeds growing inside.
The foxtail palm tree produces a seed that is popular with birds and monkeys. After eating the fruit, the animals expel the seeds wherever they happen to be at the time. This is how foxtail palms are able to grow in jungles, grasslands, and even sandy deserts.
The hard shell of the seed allows it to remain viable for years until it finally gets planted.
The foxtail palm is a very easy tree to identify. If you find a tree with long, thin leaves and a bunch of yellow or golden fruits at the top then it must be a foxtail palm tree!
Are There Any Other Names For The Foxtail Palm?
Foxtail palms are also known as:
Boys love playing football (soccer) so it stands to reason that their favorite tree would be foxtail palms!
Formal: Areco palms
Scientific: Rhapidophyllum hystrix
Where Are Foxtail Palms Found?
Foxtail palms can be found in many different parts of the world including North America, South America, Asia, and Africa. They are most commonly found in deserts and sandy scrublands where few other types of plants can grow. It is very uncommon to find them in a forest or jungle environment.
Foxtail palms are most commonly found in the following places:
What Time Of The Year Do You Find The Foxtail Palms?
You can find foxtail palms all year round since they can survive in all types of terrain.
What Are Some Interesting Facts About The Foxtail Palms?
You can find male, female, and hermaphrodite foxtail palms in the wild!
Do You Eat The Fruit From These Trees?
The bright yellow or golden fruit that grows on the top of the tree is very popular with monkeys and birds. Monkeys especially love eating these fruits and often travel great distances to eat them.
The fruit of the foxtail palm is not edible for humans. Even monkeys find them to be inedible until they are rotten! However, the seeds inside the fruit are edible and can sometimes be used as a substitute for coffee beans.
Monkeys have been observed stripping foxtail palm trees bare of their fruits in less than one hour! These animals must really love the taste!
How Do You Collect The Seeds?
The only way to collect the seeds from a foxtail palm tree is to wait until the fruits mature and drop to the ground. Due to the fact that these trees can grow in dry locations, the fruits often don’t fall to the ground until they are rotten.
The black seeds inside the fruit are very hard. They must be soaked in water for at least one week before they are ready to plant.
How Do You Start A New Tree?
The best way to start a foxtail palm tree is to transplant a young shoot from an existing tree. The shoot must be less than 2 feet in height and the diameter of a pencil.
The shoot can be transplanted into any type of soil except wet, muddy soil. The best method is to dig a hole for it and cut off the top few leaves.
How Long Does It Take For The New Tree To Grow?
It takes a foxtail palm tree between 5 to 15 years to grow to full size. These trees can reach up to 75 feet in height!
How Old Do These Trees Get?
These trees live up to 100 to 150 years.
What Kinds Of Animals Live In These Trees?
Many types of animals live in foxtail palm trees. They all eat the fruit of the tree and nest or roost in the branches. Monkeys are a well-known example, but birds, bats, and rodents also enjoy living in these trees.
There is even a type of lizard that has developed a unique way of eating these fruits. It waits at the bottom of the tree for the fruits to fall, and then runs up the tree using the stems as rungs. The lizard reaches up, grabs the fruit, then drops back down to the bottom of the tree to eat!
Are There Any Diseases Or Pests That Affect These Trees?
The only major disease that affects the foxtail palm is a fungus known as fusarium wilt. This disease causes the plant to wilt and can lead to the death of it over time.
Other than that, insects don’t tend to eat these plants.
Where Are These Trees Caught?
The foxtail palm is native to the South Asian countries of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. These trees can also be found in the southern regions of the Arabian Peninsula.
In recent years, people have started to export these trees as ornamental plants. They are popular for this purpose in Hawaii and parts of California. Some people also use the trees for making alcohol.
This plant can be found in gardens and parks in these places. They are so common that many people don’t realize that they are actually imported!
It’s also fairly easy to grow this plant from cuttings or seeds.
What Would You Use This Plant For?
The foxtail palm is very useful for a wide variety of purposes.
In regions where it naturally grows, the tree’s fruits are often eaten by native people. The seeds can also be roasted and used as substitutes for coffee beans.
The wood is not used for anything, since the tree has very flammable foliage.
These trees are often used as ornamental plants in gardens. The bright green leaves are easy to spot among other plants, and the trunk develops a beautiful reddish hue as it matures.
Due to the high number of fruits that grow on each tree, these palms often provide food for many animals that live in the area. Monkeys, bats, birds, and rodents all eat these fruits!
How Can You Get One Of These Plants?
You can purchase a foxtail palm tree from several online nurseries.
If you are in California or Hawaii, you can also buy a cutting from one of these trees. You have to special order them.
You can plant this cutting in any type of soil. The best way to do this is to dig a hole for the cutting that is 3 times wider than the diameter of the cutting. Place some grass or leaf mold at the bottom of the hole for the cutting to grow through.
Make sure the cutting is placed at the same level it was before, then backfill the hole around it. Pat the soil down firmly so there are no air pockets around the cutting, then water the soil until water runs out of the hole.
You want to make sure that the cutting doesn’t dry out for at least a week after planting!
What Should You Watch Out For?
Foxtail palms do not have many predators. The fruits of the tree are not poisonous, and monkeys often eat them. These palms are sometimes grown for their edible fruits by people in many countries.
Foxtail palms do not usually grow naturally in the United States. As a result, many states have placed restrictions on people transporting these trees into their state. If you purchase this tree online and live in the United States, you will have to go through an extra step before you can plant your tree!
The bright green leaves of this tree often make people think that it is a type of palm that is resistant to cold. This is not true at all! The foxtail palm only grows successfully in subtropical or tropical areas.
It will not do well even in warm areas if it is exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live somewhere where the temperature falls below this, you will need to build a shelter for your tree or keep it inside until spring arrives.
Taking good care of your tree will help it survive for many years to come!
Sources & references used in this article:
Foxtail Palm, Wodyetia bifurcata by K Perez, K Kobayashi, G Sako – 2009 – 18.104.22.168
Madagascar as a source of new palm introductions by J Dransfield – … Symposium on Ornamental Palms & other Monocots …, 1997 – actahort.org
Seed storage and longevity by JF Harrington – Seed biology, 1972 – books.google.com
Swidden cultivation of foxtail millet by Taiwan aborigines: a cultural analogue of the domestication of Setaria italica in China by WH Fogg – The origins of Chinese civilization, 1983 – books.google.com
Bush-harvesting of the sedge Caustis blakei reduces vegetative growth and seed set by ME Johnston, AH Wearing, JH Webber… – Australian journal of …, 1998 – CSIRO
Insect predation of seeds and plant population dynamics by J Zhang, FA Drummond, M Liebman, A Hartke – 1997 – Citeseer
Women and seed management: A study of two villages in Bangladesh by E Oakley, JH Momsen – Singapore journal of tropical …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Promotive effects of a 5-aminolevulinic acid-based fertilizer on growth of tissue culture-derived date palm plants (Phoenix dactylifera L.) during acclimatization by MA Awad – Scientia horticulturae, 2008 – Elsevier