Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Peach Palm, Pupunha
Bactris gasipaes

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bactris (BAK-triss) (Info)
Species: gasipaes (Ga-zee-pa-ess) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

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

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:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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1 positive
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Mandrew968 On Jan 14, 2011, Mandrew968 from Miami, FL wrote:

I planted this palm in the fall of 2010. It's pretty fast if it's needs are met: partial shade, lots of water, slightly acidic soil, and tropical temperatures. My palm almost died from two seperate cold spells--the heart is still green with all of the outer leaves burnt badly. I've read that this palm has sprouted back from the ground, in Gainesville, after a good freeze, but this is hard to believe as mine barely got frost with temperatures reading 35 degrees, for just several hours. This palm grows marginally in south florida and is often seen to be very 'untidy' due to the difficult job of maintenance. The prospect of edible fruits(for my tortoise and wild fauna)was the main reason for placing it in my backyard--back corner because or the ubiquitous spines(spineless cultivars exist).

Positive jungleboy_fl On Feb 7, 2006, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

If you have ever eaten the cooked fruit of this palm, you might have a greater understanding of why it is cultivated. In addition to it's fruits, this species is frequently used for "heart of palm", a tasty crispy addition to salads which is gaining in popularity here in the USA. One suggestion- if you are bothered by the wind tattered leaves of the taller stems, you can simply remove the tallest stems, leaving the others to replace it. Also, I've found it to be a good subject for including in a heavily planted, tropical rainforest type garden. All things said, it is still a very spiny palm- especially the trunk. I've noticed that as mine matured, the leaves had fewer and fewer spines- little consolation considering the overall prickly nature of the plant.

If you are considering this species in your garden, you will want to make certain it is well out of the reach of pedestrians, children, pets, and gardeners who're not prepared to become a human pincushion. Really though, if you are like me, and are interested in the spiny palms, this is a good and interesting possibility. Another nice thing, is if there is a particularly cold winter, and you lose a stem or two, it will quickly be replaced by others. Lastly, I'm not so sure I agree with the data on this plant's hardiness. I've found that it does quite well in zone 10, and recovers quickly from temperatures below 40 deg. without much effort. Maybe it just needs lots of heat and humidity during the summer months to keep it happy.

Negative Cearbhaill On Jun 14, 2005, Cearbhaill from Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant grows extremely well in South Florida, but it always looked ragged. The leaves tear with the least bit of wind and one good storm ruins it for a year or more.
That in combination with the spines caused me to remove mine. I had suckers of it come up for years- must not have gotten all the roots!

Negative Kylecawaza On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

ONe survived in Ventura CA for 15 years until teh person had it removed because they did not like it.

Neutral palmbob On May 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Though not known in the wild, this palm is grown all over central America as a source of food primarily (the fruit is tasty and for palm heart). It is a clustering (sometimes solitary), tall, fast-growing very spiny palm (spineless forms exist) used for wind-breaks sometimes in agricultural areas. This is NOT a palm most can grow in the mainland US as it is quite cold sensitive. It's not the best looking palm in the world, but when grown up to about 50' can be quite impressive.


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

Lakeland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Hilo, Hawaii

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