Friday, July 2, 2010

Butia capitata--Jelly Palm

I didn't realize that the Jelly Palm at the UC Botanical Garden is full grown. Definitely taller than me, but no more than twice as tall, its short stature make the fruit easy to pick. The fruit, which looks a bit like an orange date, can be eaten off the tree. It can be used to make jelly, of course, and it is exceptional for this purpose because there is no need to add sugar or pectin.

It also makes a great specimen tree that can be grown in sun or part shade. Works great in containers, too. Although it can grow to be 20', it generally tops out at 15", so you don't need to worry about it getting into overhead wires. It can grow in any soil, although it prefers well-drained soil. Drought tolerant, but does better with regular water and fertilizer. It grows as far north as British Columbia, so it should do fine in the bay area.

Available for sale now at UCBG. When I left yesterday, it was crowning the famous dish gardens that Laura puts together.

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