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Pindo Palm/Jelly Palm: Butia capitata

Want to feel more "tropical", but live in Zone 8?  What to do?  You can look no further than the Pindo Palm to make your "cool landscape" (cool as in temperatures!), look like pindo.jpg (44880 bytes)it has been directly transported straight from Tahiti!  Well, a little, at least!   Let's find out more about Butia capitata, friends!

The pindo has the admirable quality of EXCEPTIONAL cold tolerance (being hardy to 5 degrees F.), and a form and colouration that will satisfy even the most demanding exterior designer, with curving, arching blue-green fronds, in the "classic" feather-duster arrangement.  It is, in fact, the hardiest of the feather fronded palms! 

Friends, if you happen to live in Dallas, TX; Montgomery, AL; Charlotte, NC; Virginia Beach, VA; or Seattle, WA try this lovely palm.  If snow happens to fall on it, it's all the more striking!  Damage: none at all!  You've got a Pindo Palm; it doesn't need a winter overcoat, like you!

The pindo's grace will never get out of character either as its mature height is only about 15 feet tall.  It needs plenty of water until established (its first two years) but after that, other than a once a year feeding with a "palm special" plant food, it is set for the rest of its 80 year lifespan.  Full sun, or partial shade, does fine for this noble and trouble-free specimen!  If the temperatures are likely to fall below palm-butia-1.jpg (46381 bytes)5 degrees F., just cover with burlap, or several layers of your oldest cotton bedroom sheets overnight; remove in the morning, after your area temperatures have risen above freezing; your pindo palm will be just fine!

Enjoy your sentinel of the tropics; your neighbours are sure to envy the unique, and "exotic" look you've created, and you just might feel a bit warmer that do they, in mid-winter, just when a palm in your landscape can really convey "life" and warm comfort!


Note: Photograph courtesy of Betrock's: "Guide to Landscape Palms" by Dr. Alan W. Meerow


Paul,"The Wise Gardener!"