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Pindo Palm Tree

Pindo palm tree in the wild

The Pindo Palm Tree, scientific name Butia capitata, is a standout amongst the most famous palms on the planet due to its staggering appearance, cold toughness and splendid yellow organic fruits, that can be made into a jelly.  Its smooth appearances with blue-green fronds make it extraordinary for pool-side plantings, and furthermore for planter use. It is a standout amongst the most popular southern Palm Trees. The Pindo Palm can survive all the way to 80 years.

Pindo Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Butia capitata

Common names: The Pindo Palm is also known as Jelly Palm and Wine Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Appearance: It has a heavy gray trunk covered with old leaf bases. Trunk is around 15 ft tall and 1-1.5 ft in diameter. Occasionally, you can find specimens with a clean trunk. Without crownshaft, beautiful arching leaves emerge right from the trunk. Leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, ranging in color from green to bluish gray, about 5-10 ft long, with 80-150 leaflets that are about 20-26 inches long. They are supported by 3-4 ft long petioles that have spines along both edges.

 

Flowers/Fruits: At the end of the spring the Pindo Palm produces small yellow to orange-red flowers, that grow in clusters on large 3-4ft long inflorescence. The flowers are monoecious, individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant. They get pollinated is by insects and wind.

Flowers are followed by bright orange fruits, also known as “pindo dates”, that hang in large clusters from the tree. Dates are round to oval-shaped, juicy, edible, about 1 inch in diameter. Fruits reach their maturity in the summer. The fruits can be eaten fresh and pureed, or used to make excellent jams as well as wine. You can also use it to make jelly, hence the name Jelly Palm. They can be stored for about one week in the refrigerator. It can get very messy when ripe fruits fall to the ground.

Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. Butia capitata can slowly grow up to 10 – 20 ft and 10-15ft wide,  but usually is not taller than 15ft with the spread of 10 ft.

Outdoor/Indoor Use:Both.

Cold Tolerance: Pindo Palm Tree can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature enough. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 7b (5 to 10 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Partial shade to Full sun.

Water Req: Moderate. The Pindo Palm is tolerate of salt water, droughts and is tough enough to deal with weather stresses when mature. It also can grow in clay or sandy soils. It needs plenty of water until established in the first 2 years, but after that only little to moderate watering is needed.

Maintenance: Easy. In addition to their attractive look, this unique palm offers low to moderate maintenance. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Insects and Diseases: The Pindo Palm usually is not going to cause you any troubles. Palm leaf skeletonizer, scale, and micronutrient deficiencies are occasional problems for Pindo Palm. There are no major diseases that you need to be afraid of. The Pindo Palm can get a root rot if the soil is kept too moist and well drained.

Propagation: Propagated by seeds. It takes many months for germination to take place.