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Jubaea chilensis

Pronunciation: Joo-bay-uh chil-ee-en-sis
Family: Arecacea/palmae (palm family)
Common Name: Chilean wine palm, coquito palm, honey palm
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 80'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late summer
Bloom Description: The leaves grow 12-16 ft (3. 7-4. 9 m) in length and are a darker green on top with the lower surfaces a dull grey green. Purple flowers are borne on 4 ft (1. 2 m) inflorescence (flower stalk) that grows hidden among the leaves. The orange fruits, called coquitos, are about 1. 5 in (0. 5 cm) in diameter. Within the fruits are smooth tan seeds that resemble tiny coconuts. These have similar oily white flesh (endosperm) that tastes like them too!
Soil Type: Prefers deep well drained soil. Not a palm for the seaside as it does not tolerate salt spray.
Propagation: Propagate using fresh seeds. Plant in a warm area, germination may occur as quickly as two months or take as long as one year.
Native to: Coastal areas of central chile. Small forests of this palm once grew in mountainside ravines from sea level to altitudes of 2000 ft. The species is greatly diminished now after centuries of exploitation in order to harvest it's sugary sap.
Notes for Identification: This sap is rich in sucrose and other simple sugars. It is boiled down for use as a sweetener called palm honey (similar to corn syrup). It may also be fermented into alcoholic beverages inspiring the common name chilean wine palm. This sap is obtained from the mighty trunks. The palms are felled and the crown removed. Several quarts of sap ooze from the wound each day. Sap may be collected from a single trunk for months or even years after the palm has been cut. Let's pray that this practice stops - the life of one of the hulking beauties is far too high a price to pay for a sugar solution.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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