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Plant Species of the genus Butia

Information about this genus
Name: Butia
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: They are widely grown as landscape subjects in warm-temperate climates, valued for their ability to grow in hot exposed environments such as city plazas without the foliage becoming scorched or tattered. Deeper-rooted than many palms, they tolerate dry topsoil, but are readily transplanted at any size. When trimming off old fronds, the bases should be cut at an even length to preserve the neat pattern they make on the trunk. Propagation is from seed, sown fresh after removing all fruit flesh; germination may take some months.
Description: This genus of small to medium-sized palms consists of 8 species from subtropical and warm-temperate regions of eastern South America. It is one of the Cocos alliance of feather palms, characterized by the large spindle-shaped bract that wraps around the whole flowering panicle in bud, and the hard inner layer or ?stone? of the fruit with 3 pores at the base, as in a coconut shell. The fronds of butias arch gracefully out from the trunk, each consisting of 2 rows of thick narrow leaflets along either side of the frond midrib; toward the frond base the leaflets reduce to short stiff spikes. The stout trunk is clothed by old frond stalks, finally shed on old palms leaving a closely ringed gray surface. Sweet-scented cream to purplish flowers are borne on numerous stiff, springy spikes arising from a long central stalk, the whole flowering branch bursting out through a slit in the long woody bract shortly before the flowers open. Fruits are edible, sweet and juicy when ripe, with fine fibers in the flesh and a hard blackish stone enclosing the seed. In their native regions the fruit is eaten and may also be fermented to make a wine.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Butia capitata 8-11
Butia eriospatha 9-11

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