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BUTIA capitata

Image of Butia capitata

Grandiflora

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

BUTIA capitata

Plant Common Name

Pindo Palm, South American Jelly Palm

General Description

Pindo palm is an evergreen single-trunked palm with blue-green to gray-green fronds that beautifully arch downward. Native to the seasonally wet/dry regions of southeastern Brazil and adjacent Uruguay and northern Argentina, it is the most cold-hardy feather-leaf (pinnate) palm. The thin leaflets of each frond are held at an angle, making it have a V-shape in cross-section. The lower part of the frond stem, called a rachis, has small teeth. Summertime flowers are yellow, borne on short but many-branched stems at the base of fronds, later producing sweetly edible yellow-orange fruits. Adding a tropical feel to many areas in the warm temperate zones around the world, those with more silvery tones in the foliage tend to handle colder winters slightly better than those of solid green to yellow-green fronds.

Pindo palm tolerates most well-drained soils, sand or clay, and is best grown in full sun locations with ample room for growth. Tolerant of drought and salt spray, it will respond well to soil moisture in summer's heat. Old frond boots remain on the trunk and will fall off with time. It looks most attractive if these boots are all trimmed to the same length. The fruits are often used for making jelly, the basis for the common name of jelly palm. It is a terrific specimen for the lawn or planted in spacious clusters in a mixed border that has a dark evergreen background that will accentuate the grace of this palm's canopy.

Pindo palm will readily hybridize with queen palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana) to create the mule palm (X Butiagrus nabonnandii). Mule palm is more tropically ornate in its frond texture than the pindo palm.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    South America, Argentina, Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green, Gray

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes