Jubaea chilensis

Jubaea chilensis

Jubaea chilensis or Chilean wine palm is a quite hardy palm tree with thick trunk.

Growth is very slow, especially the first 15 years. After that it will need space to develop. Flowering occurs when the palm is about 60 years.

Introduced in Europe since 1843, adults specimens can be found in different places: French Riviera, Basque Coast and 2 specimens in Lorient, Bretagne, which bear bullet holes from the second world war.

Frost hardy up to USDA zone 9 if winters are wet, USDA zone 8 if winters are dry.

Description:

Jubaea chilensis is a palm tree with a trunk up to 24 m and a diameter of 1.8 m. The trunk sometimes has a slight bulge in the middle, usually dark gray, with rings of diamond-shaped scars of leaf bases on older parts.

The crown is up to 7.6 m wide and 4.5-6 meters high.

The leaves are pinnate, 2.4-3.6 m long, on a short petiole up to 30 cm long. Leaflets up to 30 cm long, narrow, rigid, dark green on top and gray underneath.

The inflorescences have 1 branch. They are 1.2 m long, erect, with small purple male and female flowers on the same inflorescence.

The fruit is round, 2.5 cm, yellow to orange, in hanging clusters.

Uses:

The trunk was felled for the juice from which syrup was made. This is now prohibited.

The seeds are edible and taste like coconut.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Chile Cocopalm, chilean cocopalm, chilean wine palm, coquito palm, honey palm, little cokernut, palma de coguitos, syrup palm, wine palm

Synonyms:

Cocos chilensis, Jubaea spectabilis, Micrococos chilensis, Molinaea micrococos, Palma chilensis

Etymology:

Jubaea: after Juba II, a Berber king and botanist
Chilensis: Latinization of Chile, country of origin

Origin:

Chile



Habitat:

Scrubland and low forests at low altitude

Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11
In USDA zone 8 only in dry climates.

Care:

Soil:

Rich and well drained

Light:

Sun

Water:

Water young plants regularly during summer

Feed:

Organic or slow release fertilizer in spring

Propagation:

Sowing

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seed for 1-2 days
  • sow in sowing substrate
  • keep at 25 °C
  • germination time: 2 months to 1 year
  • repot when the seedlings are big enough to handle

Image sources

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