Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pindo Palm, Wine Palm, Jelly Palm
Butia capitata

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Butia (BEW-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: capitata (kap-ih-TAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Cocos capitata
Synonym:Syagrus capitata
Synonym:Butia bonnettii

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

33 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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19 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cereuspete On Sep 20, 2014, Cereuspete from Tucson, AZ wrote:

Can't be beat if you're looking for a tropical pinnate palm. The curving branches create a graceful look, and it's drought tolerance is a huge plus here in the Sonoran Desert.

Much of what I've read decry the fact that its a slow grower, but I find that once it develops even the shortest of trunks, it begins pushing forth at a rather speedy rate. I give it six out of five stars!

Positive DavidLJ48 On Nov 13, 2012, DavidLJ48 from Waterford, CA wrote:

They seem very suited for most of the Central Valley, here in CA.

I fell in love with this palm years ago, when I first tasted the fruit, from a palm at Phil's Nickel Nursery in Shafter CA. I collected seed from the palm with the largest and best tasting fruits. Sadly, these seedlings are some years yet from producing fruit. But this year one I got from a plant friend in Santa Cruz, who manages Clouldforest Cafe, it produced 4 bunches this season of 2012. Last year, its first bunch, only one, the fruits were small and flavorless and not really sweet. This year though, they were magnificent, maybe they will be even larger and better next season. The fruits were only average cherry size, the taste was very exotic and very good, fiber was not as bad a I had experienced in some others.

I put them into my blender with just enough water for 30 seconds to blend them, and froze the juice in ziploc bags , which I add to my pineapple juice. I strained the juice with a fine screen hand strainer,to catch fiber and the very few specks of shell particles.

Years ago I tasted jelly made from Jelly Palms, at Phil's Nickel Palm Nursery, made by Phil's brother, it was excellent.

Can't wait for younger trees to get large enough to set fruit, these are all seedlings I have grown, bought a couple, all are from seeds, from high quality large fruit producing palms; I think there are around 5.

Not all Jelly Palms are a gray green, some are blue green, and very striking looking. I have one in my backyard, about ready to bloom, maybe next year. Like the one in the front yard that set so much good fruit this year, both are unknowns, unknowns, being, don't know what there parents are like, and what their fruit size and quality will be like. I guess it is like waiting for years to open a Christmas or Birthday present. This blue green palm, not sure where it came from, found it one day in lot of experimental Copernicia alba plants, that did not prove to be hardy enough for this area. I am glad I have one, almost got one at Phil's palm nursery, but pick a larger green one, for it aggressive growth, afterward kicked myself for not getting it; was nice to find one I started from seed.

When I look at nurseries, sometimes I see a blue green palm, not sure if the blue is recessive or there is a blue form, and the blue is coming out from time to time, because so many Jelly Palm are not so pure any more, they cross so easily.

Neutral peejay12 On Nov 4, 2012, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

This palm is supposed to be slightly hardier than Phoenix canariensis in the UK, but is not so popular. It is more expensive and slower growing, and perhaps people don't like the greyer, less luxuriant leaves.
They seem to tolerate the winter wet better than Phoenix, not showing any brown spots and losing very few leaves. Because the leaves are shorter they don't take up so much space either.

I haven't seen any growing in Cornwall although they are available. I've heard about one (known as "The Butia") growing in Penzance which is very old and extraordinarily tall. Why not more?

Positive donnacreation On Oct 8, 2012, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is the only bullet proof feathering palm in the SC midlands. I have 17 (I think) growing on my 3 acre property. I have lost a few to ground voles, so now I plant them all in large plastic containers with the bottoms cut out to deter them. Part of my property is a flood plain, which turns into a cold frosty bog during winter. My Pindo palms are growing happily even in these adverse conditions. Over the past 6 years, they have been exposed many times to temps in the low teens - 1 night @ 10f. My older Pindo palms are only 6 yrs old, and already have canopies 10 - 12' across. A beautiful palm with tasty fruit that begins as a dramatic flower.

Positive SuburbanNinja80 On Jul 26, 2012, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

its more of a house Palm than outside Palm were I live. But I seen at 12 footer before in North Cartion These guys have some Gray thorns on the Leafs... I knew they did but its the frist time I seen one that large in person. This is what should be called the Mojsutly palms not the ones that you can get a wally world.

Positive CrispyCritter On Mar 22, 2012, CrispyCritter from Clayton, GA wrote:

I have two of these planted in my yard here in the Appalachian mountains of Georgia. One was a 5 gallon plant when I put it in a few years ago- it has survived down to 11F and numerous other overnight lows in the teens and low twenties. This one is protected by a simple plastic film and wood frame enclosure.

The other palm was planted last year and was a 10 gallon plant- this survived last winter's low of 17F with no damage, and protected by the same type of structure as mentioned above.

Positive VAsouthern On Feb 21, 2012, VAsouthern from Starkville, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

This palm grows very well in southeastern Virginia. I see them all over when I make trips to Virginia Beach, VA. I personally am growing 5 of these outside in the ground, and they're all doing great. They have had no damage at all, even when we had a temperature of 15F one night. I never wrap any of them in the winter, and they do fine here.

Positive NorthSC On Jun 12, 2011, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Butia capitata sometimes may become Butia decapitata on very cold winters if the cold persists (usually from effects of continuous spray of "chemtrails"), so you can pull the central shoot out, but it always grows back in the spring and summer. The last winter a lot of Butias got badly damaged by extensive moderate cold temps, though not record cold. I even saw one about 5 foot tall that seems completely dead since even in June it shows no signs of regrowth and that is in zone 8A/8B! Definitely some work of the "dragon cloud" masters....

Positive Tropic1 On May 12, 2010, Tropic1 from Columbus, MS wrote:

nice palm but is sensative to moist cold freezes, i live in columbus ms a low zone 8a and i left it unprotected in a 22 deg freeze with no help and it about died, as the months went by it kept getting more dead looking until finally the spear came out and i thought it was dead, but there were two green leaves on the outside, 2.5 months later i went to look at my dead tree and the spear had regrown, now the plant has five new leaves in the middle and a good spear, it is marginal in my area i would protect under twenty five from moist freezes and plant in a sheltered area, but overall a good tree

Neutral gtr1017 On Mar 17, 2010, gtr1017 from Roanoke, VA wrote:

Tried it here in the mountains of Virginia, zone 7a / 6b border, didn't make it, even planted close to the house...G

Positive escambiaguy On Dec 1, 2009, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

As already said, this is one of the most popular palms in the deep south. Unfortunately many people plant these palms too close to driveways and walkways and are then forced to prune them for clearance. Give these palms plenty of room to spread because they look best when their fronds can gracefully droop to the ground. I have also noticed that the fronds are much larger when in partial shade.

Positive Turtlegaby On Aug 2, 2009, Turtlegaby from Decatur, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very cold hardy and robust plant. I left my 2 year old palm outside last winter with no protection at all and it made it one night through 5 degrees with only minor leaf burn. I cut the brown off and new leaves emerged in spring. It is growing stronger each year and extremely pretty to look at. Have transplanted it several times with no damage at all. It's very easy to dig up.

Positive agentdonny007 On Oct 8, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

Pindo palm grows well throughout Las Vegas and can be found from residential landscapes down through the "Strip."
Grows much better than a queen palm with fewer problems for desert gardening. One of the few pinnate (feather) type fronds hardy in Las Vegas besides most types of phoenix date palm.

Positive rcharding On Jun 19, 2008, rcharding from Mobile, AL wrote:

Pindos are one of the most popular palms here in Gulf Coast Alabama, since they handle our occasional light freezes very well with no damage to the fronds. Mine is planted in full sun and has a nice silver-green tint.

Positive MINItron On Sep 22, 2007, MINItron from Sabattus, ME wrote:

I had an old Jelly Palm in my front yard in Green Cove Springs, FL. I found the fruit to be very delicious despite being very smelly. It tastes like a combination of orange, pineapple and banana. It is very drought tolerant, and easy to care for. The only down side is that it retains its leaf bases for a LONG time, and they can become infested with carpenter ants. They don't appear to harm the tree, but having a nest close to your house is never good.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Aug 19, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

One other use this palm isn't given credit for is that it's a great container palm. Easy to grow in a manageable sized pot for decades,looking something like a big pineapple as it ages. A hardy potted palm too-immune to any amount of California cold.In sun the fronds are short,curved, and can be grey-to silvery.That very same palm can have lacy,green,glossy fronds in shade. And very forgiving of a missed watering or two,-or three-ha.

Positive jlevert On Aug 3, 2007, jlevert from Augusta, GA wrote:

A great palm, but more variable than most: some are completely green and others are silvery; some are short and squat, while others are more slender with sharply recurved leaves. The fruit is very sweet and makes good jelly, but a healthy tree will produce about 100lbs. a year in my area. In sand, the seed will germinate like ryegrass.

Positive imcuban2 On Apr 29, 2007, imcuban2 from Chicago, IL wrote:

Hello I love this palm! Your probably saying in Chicago yeah right! I have several palms in my yard Micro climate without protection is z7. With protection its zone 8. This palm has been in the ground working on year 2. Never had any cold damage what so ever, likes to be completely dry all winter. I do this with a simple clear plastic cover all winter to keep rain and wind and snow out.

Positive davelodi On Mar 14, 2007, davelodi from Stockton, CA wrote:

What a beautiful Palm. I have 10 plants about 5- 7 feet tall. Very cold hardy. We got down to the high teens this winter in Northern California and there was NO sign of any damage. A very slooooow growing palm here but I love it.... The blue color on my really stand out..

Neutral nick89 On Oct 29, 2005, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Abundant and highly popular for landscapes in North Florida but it is outnumbered by the cabbage palmetto. They have lots of the orange fruit which people claim is edible. The leaves appear to have a bluish tint which makes the jelly palm stand out from other palms.

Neutral aviator8188 On Jul 14, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was glad to see many plantings of the Jelly in southern Georgia and northern Florida. It seems to be very popular throughout the deep south. There are hundreds of markets throughout the south that sell the fruit of Butia capitata as fruits of jellies. It seems to be popular because it is the most cold hardy of pinnate leafed palms. It provides another palm tree for the south besides Sabal palmetto. I always enjoy seeing this beautiful specimen, which is very cold hardy!

Positive palmbob On Jul 23, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This palm is also popular in the Southwest and Texas, as well as Florida, where it is commonly grown along avenues and in landscaping. It makes a unique specimen plant due to its blue-green leaves that are strongly recurving. Though it is not a fast palm, it is one of the fastest growing palms for Southern California. It is also an easy palm to dig and move, handling abuse quite well. This species is also commonly hybridized with several other species of palm, notably the Chilean Wine Palm (Jubaea chilensis) and the Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) creating very hardy and ornamental palms. It is one of the few species of palm that seems to grow equally well on the east coast as it does on the west coast... probably the hardiest of all the pinnate leaved (feather-leaved) palms.

2010 Noblick and Lorenzi have researched Butia and Syagrus extensively recently and have concluded that the plant we all know as Butia capitata is actually Butia odorata, and the REAL Butia capitata is a shorter, rarer plant, extremely rare in cultivation. Name change officially pending for now, though

Positive fishcop On Jul 22, 2003, fishcop wrote:

This palm is very cold hardy and can handle temps in the mid to upper teens (14 F min. temp). The seeds are yellow to brownish red in color. The fruit has a sweet tart flavor and can be used to make jelly hince the name jelly palm. The seed can also be used to make an imitation of coffee. I am attempting to germinate seed now with pete moss and vermiculite. They are very popular on the central west coast of Florida where I like. USDA zone 9a.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Atmore, Alabama
Decatur, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama (2 reports)
Orange Beach, Alabama
Camp Verde, Arizona
Congress, Arizona
El Mirage, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Cabot, Arkansas
Lonoke, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
Barstow, California
Clayton, California
Clovis, California
Fountain Valley, California
Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California
Martinez, California
Mountain View Acres, California
Oakland, California
Oceanside, California (2 reports)
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Rancho Mirage, California
Roseville, California
San Leandro, California
San Mateo, California
Santa Barbara, California
Sonoma, California
Spring Valley, California
Stockton, California
Tarzana, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Visalia, California
Waterford, California
Brandon, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)
Cape Coral, Florida
Crawfordville, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hampton, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Niceville, Florida
North Port, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida (2 reports)
Tampa, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Clayton, Georgia
Leesburg, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Chicago, Illinois
Streamwood, Illinois
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Vinton, Louisiana
Centreville, Maryland
Columbus, Mississippi
Florence, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Henderson, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Staten Island, New York
Durham, North Carolina
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Huntersville, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Ashland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Beaufort, South Carolina
Campobello, South Carolina
Cayce, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Manning, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (2 reports)
Newberry, South Carolina
North, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Cleveland, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Harlingen, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Rockport, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Suffolk, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington (2 reports)
Kent, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Long Beach, Washington
Perth, Washington
Redondo, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Sekiu, Washington
Shoreline, Washington
White Center, Washington

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