Butia capitata

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Figure 1. B. capitata adult in a housegarden.


Common Names:

Wine Palm,
Jelly Palm


This Butia comes from Brazil and the borders with Uruguay in South America. It is often found in large concentrations, with many thousands of palms being present in the one area.


There are several known forms of this palm. The leaves can vary from bluish-grey to green depending on the form. Fruits are round, yellow to orange, edible and delicious. Seeds are round and the size depends on the form.

Figure 2. A very blue (and old) B. capitata.


This palm can hybridize with Syagrus romanzoffiana and also with Jubaea chilensis. The resulting plants are one of the most beautifull palms that grow in the world, unfortunately they are sterile. Hybridization occurs naturally in habitat with Syagrus romanzoffiana, and is known as Butiagrus.


It is the perfect palm for a tropical look in cold areas although it can also grow in subtropicals locations. Its cold tolerance is very well known, e.g. it can tolerate to -10" Celsius for some hours. Definitely the most cold tolerant of the Butias, it is also a very drought and wind resitant. It is very slow growing.

Figure 3. B. capitata in habitat, Brazil.
Figure 4. B. capitata in habitat.

Contributed by:

Gaston Torres Vera (Figure 1,3 & 4 - images copyright Argentina Palms)
Angelo Porcelli (Figure 2)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk