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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 jelly.  Its smooth appearance with blue-green fronds makes 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. The trunk is around 15 ft tall and 1-1.5 ft in diameter. Occasionally, you can find specimens with a clean trunk. Without crown shaft, 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 a 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 tolerant of saltwater, and 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 its attractive look, this unique palm offers low to moderate maintenance. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has a continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Insects and Diseases: The Pindo Palm usually is not going to cause you any trouble. 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 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.

30 Interesting Benefits Of The Pindo Palm Tree

  1. Fruit Production: Pindo palms are known for their delicious fruits, often referred to as "jelly palms" due to their popular use in making jellies.

  2. Ornamental Value: With its feathery fronds, the Pindo Palm enhances the aesthetic value of landscapes.

  3. Drought Resistance: Pindo palms can withstand dry conditions, requiring minimal watering.

  4. Cold Hardiness: These palms can tolerate lower temperatures better than many other palm species.

  5. Wind Resistance: Their sturdy trunks can stand up well to high wind conditions.

  6. Edible Palm Heart: The heart of the Pindo Palm is edible.

  7. Shade Provider: Pindo palms provide excellent shade with their large canopy.

  8. Soil Stabilizer: The roots of Pindo Palms help to prevent soil erosion.

  9. Wildlife Habitat: These palms offer shelter and food for a variety of wildlife.

  10. Low Maintenance: Pindo Palms are relatively low-maintenance trees.

  11. Longevity: These trees can live for a great number of years.

  12. Noise Barrier: Pindo Palms can serve as natural noise barriers.

  13. Air Purifier: Like other trees, Pindo Palms help to purify the air.

  14. Economic Value: The fruits of Pindo Palms are commercially valuable.

  15. Slow Growing: Their slow growth rate makes them suitable for urban landscapes.

  16. Privacy Screen: Dense plantings of Pindo Palms can create an effective privacy screen.

  17. Adaptability: These palms can grow in a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils.

  18. Salt Tolerance: Pindo Palms are highly tolerant of saline conditions, making them suitable for coastal planting.

  19. Non-Invasive Roots: The root system of Pindo Palms is not known to damage infrastructure.

  20. Pest Resistance: Pindo Palms are resistant to a number of common pests.

  21. Disease Resistance: They exhibit resistance to a number of common diseases affecting palms.

  22. Multipurpose Fruit: The fruit can be eaten fresh, made into jelly, or fermented into wine.

  23. Architectural Interest: The unique form of Pindo Palms adds architectural interest to landscapes.

  24. Cultural Significance: Pindo Palms are integral to certain cultures, featuring in local legends and folklore.

  25. Recyclable Leaves: Fallen palm leaves can be recycled into compost.

  26. Healing Properties: Certain parts of the Pindo Palm are believed to have medicinal properties.

  27. Indoor Plant: Young Pindo Palms can be used as houseplants.

  28. Erosion Control: The root system of Pindo palm trees helps in controlling erosion, especially in sloped landscapes.

  29. Carbon Sequestration: Pindo Palms, like other trees, help to sequester carbon dioxide.

  30. Biodiversity: Pindo Palms contribute to local biodiversity, supporting a variety of insect and bird species.

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