You are here:

House Plants/Unknown plant that catches flies


the flies
the flies  
Unknown plant
Unknown plant  
QUESTION: We have this plant that was passed down to us from my boyfriends mother. It looks similar to a ponytail palm however it catches flies on the underneath of it's upturned leaves. So my question is what kind of plant is it and does it also act as a fly trap? The flies are not easy to pull off and have turned to tiny sucked dry corpses.

ANSWER: Katie,

I believe it is a plain old ponytail palm, the Latin name is beaucarnea recurvata. It appears to me that your boyfriends father or older brother a long time ago glued some dead flies to the backsides of the leaves of the plant as a joke. Notice they are only on the older lower leaves. The plant does not appear to be getting enough water. I spent a lot of time ssearching the internet just to be sure and I am certain your plant is not a fly catcher.  There is no variety of ponytail palm or similar plant anywhere in the world that catches flies naturally.  In the summer it should be watered well at least once a week and in the winter at least every 10-14 days.

The dead leaves on the trunk can be carefully be pulled off and the trunk will look much better. This plant loves the sun so it does need to be kept in a sunny location. Good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the input. However the flies where very much alive this summer when it was on the front porch. We have no where to put the trashcan except the front porch because we have a city house. So we get flies in the summer. We also move all the house plants out front. The palm was acting as a catcher. We watched as the flies tried to free themselves with no success. There are still about 7 attached to the palm since bringing it in doors. Thanks anyways for telling me it's a pony tail.


OK, I can find nothing about your plant on the internet being a fly catcher so maybe you have something extremely rare. I have found a place that you can post a picture on facebook and they should be able to help you. They are an international group.

If anyone can identify it these guys should be able to. If they do please let me know what it is since I am hooking you up with them! Good luck!


House Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

©2017 All rights reserved.