Jubaea chilensis

2005

Jubaea chilensis

Chilean Wine Palm, Coquito Palm

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Central Chile. These palms are rare in the wild, due to centuries of being felled for their sap which is very sweet and is used as a sugar extract or fermented for wine. They are now protected by the Chilean government.

Growth Habit:

A very slow-growing palm which at maturity reaches 75 feet tall with a trunk over three feet across. Most have hanging lower fronds, but some have a more upright crown; both forms can be seen in the picture to the left.

Growing Requirements:

This palm grows well in temperate subtropical climates, though not in true tropics. It is cold-tolerant and can withstand frost even when young. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Features:

Jubaea chilensis has a thick gray trunk crowned with feathery grey-green fronds. It has very small flowers, which grow on a 4 ft long stalk hidden under the leaves. These are followed by orange fruit. The common name ‘Coquito’ refers to the one-inch nut inside the fruit. These look and taste like miniature coconuts.

Where at Lotusland:

There are approximately 40 mature Chilean Wine Palms at Lotusland dating back to the early years of the estate. They are planted mainly in the Blue Garden and Aloe Garden. Young specimens have been planted in the Cactus Garden and at the visitors’ entrance gate.

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