Wodyetia bifurcata, commonly known as the Foxtail Palm, was named in honor of Wodyeti, an Aboriginal bushman.
Photo courtesy and copyright © 1998, Daryl
Wodyeti was the last of his line holding a vast traditional knowledge of the palms natural habitat, the Bathurst Bay-Melville Range in Far North Eastern Queensland, Australia. When he died in 1978 at around 78 years of age, he left the world this wonderful legacy.
The reason why this true Australian Native lay undiscovered until so late in the 20th century is that it occurs naturally only in very remote area of Queensland. As a result, this solitary feather-leaved palm was only introduced to the nursery trade in Australia in 1995. However, as it has progressively become more well known in the modern world, its popularity has exploded. This is particularly so in the United States where palm collectors are very keen to obtain the foxy beauty and pay rather handsomely for the privilege. the Foxtail is also in demand in Asia where it is highly valued for its beauty and its cultural appreciation.
With its growing success, the Foxtail Palm has almost become a status symbol. Wodyetia is also prized by landscapers for its thick, robust trunk and neat appearance, especially the arching crown of light green fronds which, as the name suggests, gives the palm's foliage the appearance of a fox's tail as it sways in the breeze.
There is little doubt that Wodyetia bifurcata, the Foxtail, is the palm of the present and the future.
Article reprinted with permission from the website of the
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