Mar 2012 – Butia Capitata

Butia Capitata

Butia Capitata
(Jelly Palm, Pindo Palm, Wine Palm )

An eye-catching and distinctive palm readily recotgnised by its stout, woody trunk to 5 meter tall and graceful crown of arching, bluish-green pinnate fronds. It is native to South America (Brazil and Uruguay) where it is widespread in the drier regions and is sometimes locally common. The fruits are very decorative, being 2-3cm across, somewhat flattened and yellow or reddish when ripe

They are edible with a fruity flavour but rather fibrous consistency. This palm is very hardy and will thrive in temperate and subtropical regions as well as inland districts. It requires a sunny position in well-drained soils and will tolerate well-structured clay or limey soils. Young plants make very decorative and hardy tub specimens. The species can be distinguished from its close relatives by the glaucous, glabrous spathes of the inflorescence, the long spines on the petioles (8-11cm long) and the small flowers (3-8mm long) and fruit (1.5-2.5cm long).

Butia Capitata is variable and some plants in cultivation appear quite distinctive. Some of these have been named as varieties but may just repreesent oddities. Butia Capitata strictior appears distinctive because of its stiffly erect fronds which shed completely and eave the trunk clear.

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