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Butia capitata

Pronunciation: Bew-tee-uh kap-ih-tay-tuh
Family: Arecacea/palmae (palm family)
Common Name: Jelly palm, pindo palm
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 12-15'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Description: The palm produces bright orange fruit (often called pindo dates in the deep south). These palms vary in form from one individual to the next. Specimens raised in dry and/or infertile soils tend to be smaller in stature with smaller leaves. Light also affects the plant's form while those grown in full sun are more compact.
Plant Perks:
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Seeds. Young palms are often found under palms that have been allowed to produce fruit. It is not unusual to see offspring growing in the old leaf boots of a mature tree.
Native to: All members of the butia species are native to the grasslands, dry woodlands and savannahs of south america. Populations range across a wide area of northern argentina, southern brazil, paraguay and uruguay. The pindo is a popular landscape item in north florida and throughout the mild gulf and atlantic coastal regions of the southeastern united states. It is also popular in northern california and similar warm winter climates that are subject to occasional frosts.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - this is a beautiful cold hardy palm that is very easy to grow. It is also drought tolerant, inexpensive and readily available at nurseries and discount stores. Like many palms, the pindo produces an elaborate flowering structure called an inflorescence - the orange fruit forms on these structures after the female flowers have been pollinated. In the deep south, a jelly is made from these fruits. They have a terrific taste that starts out like apple and tranforms to tart tropical flavors as it tantalizes the tongue. Too bad the fruit has a large seed and stringy fibrous flesh or i would eat them by the handful! Care: full sun to moderate shade (the fronds grow longer in shady situations, giving the palm a more graceful aspect than those grown in full sun). Prefers sandy, well drained soil but is adaptable and very drought tolerant. Regular watering and feeding will produce a faster growing, more attractive palm.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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