The Palm and Cycads Societies of Australia (PACSOA) describes this Palm as follows:
"Very attractive palm with long (2-3m.) plumose leaves (hence the name 'Foxtail'), and up to 10m tall with a grey trunk. It produces large (about the size of a duck egg) orange fruit"
Most of the world were unaware of the existence of this 'spectacular' palm until 1978, when an Aboriginal man brought it to botanists and the world's attention
The Aboriginal name of that Aboriginal man has been recorded as being "Wodyeti", thus the genus name for this Australian endemic species Wodyetia.
The Foxtail Palm is endemic to a very small part of Australia, originally decorating the boulder strewn, exposed gravel hills of the Cape Melville range, wholly within the Cape Melville National Park.
The area has been recognised for it's rich biocultural diversity, having long and intense Aboriginal associations and a rich biodiversity.
In addition to being a habitat for Foxtail Palms, the Melville Range is a habitat for animals such as the Godman's rock-wallaby (Petrogale godmani), the tropical ring-tailed gecko (Cyrtodactylus louisiadensi) plus endemic frogs and lizards such as the Cape Melville boulder skink (Cryptoblepharus fuhni), the Melville Range treefrog (Litoria andiirrmalin) and the Cape Melville boulderfrog (Cophixalus zweifeli).
When, in 1978, this palm was first identified, named, and revealed to the world, it was endemic only to a very small part of Australia. being the Cape Melville range, within the Cape Melville National Park. It was classed as a rare palm, both within Queensland, and on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.
After it became known to the world, the Foxtail Palm's seeds were so highly sought after that a thriving blackmarket trade formed, with illegal collectors nearly decimating the in situ populations, but ultimately resulting in the palm becoming widely distributed across the world, fruiting in the many tens of thousands, being progressively planted out as one of the "world's most popular" palms.