Butia eriospatha

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Figure 2. B. eriospatha


Conservation Status:

Not directly threatened, although the complete lack of small plants due to grazing is a big concern.

Distribution & Habitat:

Grows at an altitude of up to 1200m in Rio Grand do Sul, Santa Caterina and Parana, Brazil.


A large Butia with a thick trunk. Leaves tend to be generally much greener than Butia capitata in habitat. We did find that the leaf colour changed considerably between isolated populations, some populations being more like Butia capitata in appearance.

Fruit and seed is round, flowers and fruits range from red to yellow in colour. The fruit is delicous to eat when ripe.


The habitats we visited were much cooler than that where Butia capitata grows, due to the altitude of over 1000 meters. We visited in summer and whilst the temperature was over 30"C on the coast, the temperature in habitat was reminiscent of Northern Europe, with cloud and rain a normal occurrence. In winter the temperature drops to -3"C or -4"C in the location we visited, whereas the habitat of Butia capitata is largely frost free.

This is surely the best Butia for a cool climate, having all the attributes necessary to make an excellent landscape palm, and being capable of much faster rates of growth in cooler conditions.

Figure 1. B. eriospatha
Figure 3. B. eriospatha inflorescence.
Figure 4. B. eriospatha in habitat.

Contributed by:

Nigel Kembrey,
Hardy Palms (Text & Figure 1,2,3&4)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk