Caranday Palm Tree – Copernicia alba

Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.

The Caranday Palm Tree, scientific name Copernicia alba, is not well known in cultivation and is considered rare. It is a cold hardy palm that is perfect for landscapes in USDA zones 9-11. 

The stunning Caranday Palm is great for focal point or can be used in grouping of three. The Caranday Palm Tree can also grow indoors.

Caranday Palm Tree Profile

Scientific name:Copernicia alba or Trithrinax campestris
Common names:Caranday Palm , Wax Palm and Caranday Wax Palm.
Origin:Native to the humid parts of the Gran Chaco eco-region in Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
Growth Rate:Slow.
Cold Tolerance:USDA zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F)
Light Req: Full sun.
Water Req:Low to moderate.
Soil Req:Well-drained alkaline to slightly acidic soil.
Fruit:Black. Edible.
Propagation:Seed.

Caranday Palm Features

The Caranday Palm has single, gray, very hard trunk around 7-10 inches in diameter. Younger palm trees retain spiny old leaf bases that eventually fall off as the tree matures. Trunk is gray and has cylindrical shape.

Palmate, or fan shaped, leaves grow from the top of the trunk and are 2ft long. The attractive leaves are round, held by very rigid and spiny petioles, and range in color from light green to silver to light blue.

They produce wax that is used today for lipstick, candles and some car polishes. Leaves of the adult Trithrinax campestris have the surface covered on both sides with small red points or dots.

Caranday Palm Flowers and Fruits

During fall, the Caranday Palm produces small white flowers 10-12 mm wide. Flowers are hermaphrodite, develop on branched inflorescence that grow below the leaves.

In the summer, flowers are followed by berry looking yellow fruits that turn black when ripe. Fruits are around 1 inch wide with a single oval seed inside. They are edible, juicy and succulent, have a sweet taste, that is followed by an astringent taste that is hard to get rid off.

How to Care For Caranday Palm

Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.

Copernicia alba is a slow growing palm can get up to 40 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide. In the wild the Caranday Palm is known to reach 60-70 ft, but in cultivation usually doesn’t grow taller than 30-40ft.

The minimum temperature Caranday Palm can tolerate is 25 F when mature enough. It is great for USDA zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Full sun to Partial shade. It does best in moist well drained soil. The Caranday Palm Tree is easy to grow and maintain.

Generally healthy palm but can occasionally have potassium deficiency. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Caranday Palm Pictures

Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Caranday Palm (Copernicia alba). Photo by Flickr.
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