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Locally known as Butia-zinho.
Distribution & Habitat:
A small area of south east Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil where it grows in Campos, occasionally with small trees.
Formerly thought to be Butia paraguayensis, this palm was recently formally named after it was realised it differed in that the palm is caespitose, ie branching underground. A beautiful small palm with subterranean trunk, growing in red earth, forming dense mounds. Leaves are small, grey and arching. There is some variation within the species with respect to trunk i.e. an odd plant formed single trunks.
Fruits are yellow to orange, edible; the seeds are much rounder than Butia paraguayensis with the eyes situated towards one end.
Whilst the palm is quite abundant in this one location, horses seemed to have a particular liking for the spathes which were mostly eaten.
The palm is not known in cultivation.
www.hardypalms.co.uk (Text and Figure 1,2,3&4)