Pindo Palm

Butia capitata

The Pindo Palm is a medium-sized palm and a popular landscaping plant due to its superior tolerance to cold, drought, salt and pests compared to most species of palms. They are good for urban plantings as well as coastal plantings. The fronds range from light green to bluish grey. They have a feather-type look and arch and recurve towards the ground, growing 5 to 10 feet long.

A flower stalk, called an inflorescence, emerges from a tan woody case. Over the summer, very showy edible fruits grow on the flower stalk in large clusters. The fruits are often used to make jams and jellies, which is where it got its nickname as the Jelly Palm. It is important to note that they can make quite a mess beneath the tree and can attract pests if not cleaned up quickly.

Pindos grow well in both full sun and partial shade. Planting them in shady locations will result in the fronds growing longer, creating a fuller crown and a more graceful profile. When grown in full sun they grow more compact.

Although Pindos are higher maintenance than most palms due to the fact that they are not self-cleaning and have messy fruit, it is widely used and appreciated for its high tolerance to cold, drought, salt, and pests.

Pindo Palm in container
Pindo Palm in container

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:
Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uraguay

Common Names:
Jelly Palm, Wine Palm

Description:
Hardy Range:  8B – 11
Mature Height: 15 -20’
Mature Spread: 10 – 16’
Growth Rate: Slow

Ornamental Characteristics:
The Pindo Palm has a a thick singular trunk that grows to have a 1.5’ diameter and can reach 20’ tall. Frequently it will have leaf bases decorating the entire trunk. When small, the trunks can keep their leaf bases intact resulting in a “diamond cut” look. It has 5’ to 10’ long arching grey-green leaves. The leaf petioles are armed with teeth on the margins and there are 25 to 60 pairs of pointed billowed narrow leaflets per frond. The pinkish cream flowers come up from a 2’ to 3’ long woody spathe in late spring to early summer. In mid to late summer, they are succeeded by cherry-sized edible orangeish fruits.

Environment:
Soil: lay, sand, loam, slightly alkaline, acidic, well-drained
Salt: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

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Pindo Palm in the landscape
Pindo Palm in the landscape
Field grown Pindo Palm
Field grown Pindo Palm
Pindo Palm seeds
Pindo Palm seeds