The Pindo Palm Tree, scientific name Butia capitata, is one of the most popular palms in the world because of its stunning appearance and cold hardiness that makes is great choice for landscape in USDA zones 8-11. The Pindo Palm is also known as Jelly Palm and Wine Palm.
Butia capitata can slowly grow up to 25ft but usually is not taller than 15ft with the spread of 10 ft. It has a heavy gray trunk covered with old leaf bases. Trunk is around 15 ft tall and 1-1.5 ft in diameter. Occasionally, you can find specimens with a clean trunk. Without crownshaft, beautiful arching leaves emerge right from the trunk.
Leaves are pinnate, or feather-like, ranging in color from green to bluish gray, about 5-10 ft long, with 80-150 leaflets that are about 20-26 inches long. They are supported by 3-4 ft long petioles that have spines along both edges.
At the end of the spring the Pindo Palm produces small yellow to orange-red flowers, that grow in clusters on large 3-4ft long inflorescence. The flowers are monoecious, individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant. They get pollinated is by insects and wind.
Flowers are followed by bright orange fruits, also known as “pindo dates”, that hang in large clusters from the tree. Dates are round to oval-shaped, juicy, edible, about 1 inch in diameter. Fruits reach their maturity in the summer. The fruits can be eaten fresh and pureed, or used to make excellent jams as well as wine. You can also use it to make jelly, hence the name Jelly Palm. They can be stored for about one week in the refrigerator. It can get very messy when ripe fruits fall to the ground.
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