Jelly Palm (Butia capitata)

Cocos capitata. C. coronata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Jelly Palm
Butia capitata

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw[61, 105, 177]. Sweet and aromatic with the flavour of apricots[183, K]. They can also be made into jellies, jams, pies, cakes etc[183]. The fruit is very fibrous but is also very nice[K]. The fruit is about 34 x 25mm[200].

    The seed contains up to 45% of an edible oil, it is used mainly for margarines[2, 46, 61, 74].

    The pith of the stem can be made into a bread[2]. However, because the tree cannot make side branches this will effectively kill it[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse at not less than 24¡c[188]. Stored seed is very slow to germinate. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing may shorten the germination time. Plants form a long tap-root some time before forming a shoot. Germination of fresh seed usually takes place in 3 – 4 months at 25¡c[138]. Plant out into individual pots either as soon as root growth is noticed or as soon as top growth appears. Grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. See Cultivation notes above regarding planting them outdoors.
Succeeds in most fertile moist but well-drained soils in a sheltered sunny position[188, 200, 231]. Tolerates light shade[188]. This plant is not very cold-hardy in Britain but it tolerates short-lived frosts down to about -2¡c and can be pot-grown taking the pot outdoors in the summer and keeping it in a conservatory during the winter[200]. It might succeed outdoors in a selected site in the very mildest areas of the country[200]. There are several mature specimens in south-west Cornwall that were planted in the early 1900’s[231]. Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[231]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[231]. Palms can also be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established – removing many of the leaves can also help[231]. A slow-growing plant[231], it is occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit and seed[61].
Southern S. America – South Brazil and Uruguay.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.