Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Carnuba Wax Palm, Brazilian Wax Palm
Copernicia prunifera

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Copernicia (koh-per-NEE-kee-uh) (Info)
Species: prunifera (proo-NIF-er-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Copernicia cerifera

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12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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

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

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By IslandJim
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There are a total of 18 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral timrann On Mar 22, 2007, timrann from Other
Mauritius wrote:

C.Prunifera (also called Cerifera in some places)originates from NE Brazil and is named Carnauba wax palm after native people and region of brazil where it grows naturally.The trunk is quite massive, not swollen as C.Baileyana .Leaves are 1.5 - 2 m in diameter , split half their way into a soft and needle like tips.The flowers are grouped into branched and clustered inflorescences ( a bit like Thrinax radiata ) which is as long as the huge leaves. The colour of the flowers are white- yellowish . The crownshaft is as beautiful andlooks like Brahea Armata .C.CeriferaI is the mostly used among the Copernicias for wax, in many sectors; varies from cosmetic in lipstick , floor polish to even car polish. Quite an attractive palm and probably an easy to grow in the tropics.

Positive palmbob On Sep 20, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is very closely related to Copernicia alba, another good Coperncia for So Cal. This one is a bit more glaucous (waxy leaves), but is otherwise about indistiguishable. It does seem to grow slower, though. Some palm experts even consider them the same species. This palm grows a LOT faster in warmer climates like Florida, than in So Cal. Makes a nice contrast in the garden. Very sharp teeth on the petioles, so careful when pruning.


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

Thousand Oaks, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Venice, Florida

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