A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Butia capitata, also known as Jelly Palm, is a palm native to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. This palm grows up to 6m (exceptionally 8m) in a slow but steady manner. It is easily identifiable with feather palm pinnate leaves that arch inwards towards a thick stout trunk. Butia capitata is notable as one of the hardiest feather palms, tolerating temperatures down to about −10 °C; it is widely cultivated in warm temperate regions. For example, it is commonly grown on the East Coast of the United States as far north as Virginia Beach, Virginia and Seattle, Washington on the west coast. Ripe fruit are about the size of large cherry, and yellowish/orange in color, but can also include a blush towards the tip. The taste is a mixture of pineapple, apricot, and vanilla. Taste can vary depending on soil conditions, and the tastes of apple, pineapple, and banana together is also common. It is tart and sweet at the same time, with a flesh similar to a loquat, but slightly more fibrous.