How To Grow Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)

Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.

The Pindo Palm Tree, scientific name Butia capitata or Butia odorata, is one of the most popular palms in the world because of its stunning appearance, cold hardiness and bright yellow fruit, that can be made into a jelly.

Its graceful appearances with blue-green fronds make it great for pool-side plantings, and also for container use. It is one of the most popular Florida Palm Trees. The Pindo Palm can live up to 80 years.

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Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Butia capitata or Butia odorata
Common names:Pindo Palm, Jelly Palm, Wine Palm.
Origin:Native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Growth Rate:Slow. Up to 15 ft and 10 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 8a (10 – 15 F) to 10b (35 – 40 F)
Light Req:Partial shade to Full sun.
Water Req:Low.
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Yellow to orange. Edible.
Propagation:By seed, germinating in 6 months.

Pindo Palm Identifying Characteristics

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.

Pindo Palm Flowers and Fruits

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.

How To Care For Pindo Palm

Butia capitata can slowly grow up to 10 – 20 ft and 10-15ft wide,  but usually is not taller than 15ft with the spread of 10 ft.

Pindo Palm Tree can tolerate cold down to 5F when mature enough. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 8a (10 – 15 F) to 10b (35 – 40 F). It does best in partial shade or full sun.

The Pindo Palm is tolerate of salt water, droughts and is tough enough to deal with weather stresses when mature. It also can grow in clay or sandy soils. It needs plenty of water until established in the first 2 years, but after that only little to moderate watering is needed.

In addition to their attractive look, this unique palm offers low to moderate maintenance. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

The Pindo Palm usually is not going to cause you any troubles. Palm leaf skeletonizer, scale, and micronutrient deficiencies are occasional problems for Pindo Palm. There are no major diseases that you need to be afraid of. The Pindo Palm can get a root rot if the soil is kept too moist and well drained.

Propagated by seeds. It takes many months for germination to take place.

Pindo Palm Pictures

Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata)
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata) stems with steeth.
Pindo Palm Tree (Butia capitata). Photo by Flickr.

More information can be found on EDIS and Floridata sites. Buy This Palm Tree »

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