Scientific name: Caryota mitis,
The fishtail palm was named for its unusual leaves - shaped like a jagged fish's tail which form thick, swirled layers of ruffled fronds. Fishtails are clustering palms that grow dense and full.
A primary product of Caryota urens in rural communities is the sugar substitute called kitul honey or jaggary; juice from the flowers is concentrated in large, wide-mouthed vessels on an open fire to prepare a viscous, golden syrup with a delicious flavour. It is often served with a thick, fermented curd, prepared from buffalo milk. Alternatively, the sap is further concentrated to give kitul jaggary (candy). The fruits contain raphides and are normally not eaten, although the seeds may be chewed. The apical region of the stem of young C. urens is used as a food source. The palm heart consisting of the apical meristem together with its immediate derivatives before thickening is eaten as a vegetable by rural people. Caryota palm is cultivated for its nectar for honey production. Caryota urens has good, strong, heavy and durable wood. Caryota stem yields an inferior timber sometimes used for construction purposes such as planking, rafters, roofing, partitioning and fencing.
Caryota can be used to treat gastric ulcers, migraine headaches, snakebite poisoning and rheumatic swellings. The root is used for tooth ailments, the bark and seed to treat boils, and the tender flowers for promoting hair growth.