Butia paraguayensis

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Figure 1. Young plant in a garden in Argentina.


Common Names:

The translation from the Guarani language to
Spanish would be "arrastradiza".
Also locally known as yata-i ponhi, or singly pogni.


Several small palms grow in pure sand to the north of an area called botanicaly "Chaco" in South America, all of the size of the grass of around. There grow also small Syagrus, Acrocomias, Attaleas and Butias, all generally the size of the grass.


Butia paraguayensis is a delicate, small and beautifull palm, with subterranean trunk, growing in pure fine sand. Leaves are large, grey and come from the ground, and are typicaly lying on the ground. Petioles are spineless. There is some variation within the species with respect to trunk i.e. some plants do, others don't.

Fruits are yellow to orange, not edible; the seeds are smaller then Butia yatay, and not as easy to germinate.


Unfortunately, this palms habitat is under threat, because of its value as farmland. The palm has no uses, other than the seed reputedly being good for fishing.

Within the species B. paraguayensis there are several variations like Butia dyerana, Butia poni, Butia pungens, Butia amadelpha, Butia wildemaniana, but now all this variations are grouped into the generical name of Butia paraguayensis with subterranean trunk or with visible trunk and also diferences in the size of the leaves.


Prefers full sun in very well drained sandy soils.

Figure 1. Plants in habitat on a hill near the ParanaThere are very large populations of "palmares" here.Figure 2.
Figure 3. B. paraguayensis

Contributed by:

Gaston Torres Vera,
Cordoba, Argentina (Images copyright Argentina Palms)

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

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