Pindo palm in the SF Bay Area

bahia(SF Bay Area)December 17, 2011

Thought I'd post a link to a garden in Alameda, California with several Pindo palms, Butia capitata planted out amongst a collection of South African succulents and perennials. I really like using this palm as more of an accent shrub in the landscape, because it is relatively slow to form a trunk, and has great foliage interest while young. This palm will easily serve as a foliage backdrop for the next 10 years, but will slowly form a trunk and become an actual "tree sized palm" eventually. In the meantime, it makes a great backdrop for contrasting shrubs and flowering perennials.

I don't know why this palm isn't used more often here in California, as it is drought tolerant, easy to maintain, and beautiful...

Here is a link that might be useful: Butia capitata palm

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Beautiful palm! I also wonder why they arent used more in Cali. They are very common in the Southeast and they are the second most common of the cold tolerant palms around here in NYC (I know of about 5 that are protected and survive each winter, the largest is 14 feet tall!). And not to mention they also make edible fruit. Pretty great palms.
The ones in these pics look really nice. They are going to make a great overhead canopy in a few years when they start forming a trunk!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Very nice! Looks so similar to the placement of my pindo--in front of a fence and surrounded by other smaller blooming plants. Of course being mid Atlantic coast my selection is quite different from California border plants.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 4:20PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Another photo link of a much older Pindo Palm here in a Berkeley, Ca. garden on a winter's day

Here is a link that might be useful: A more mature Pindo here in Berkeley, Ca.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 2:37PM
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Because Alex-unlike other hardy palms that sell for a few dollars like Washy's or just a few more like Queen palms...a 5 gallon Butia is well over 40$..and that takes it into a specialist range at nurserys.
I would say its rare to see one in somebody's yard..I have one potted..and a neighbor has a nice 10-12' palm..after that I can't think of another within 10 miles. Hundreds of Washys can be seen though in that same range...thousands?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Thats a good point, they are very expensive in comparison to other cold tolerant palms. I guess for now Mule palms wont be grown by too many people. But I think thats a good thing because what makes a mule palm so nice to see is the fact that is a change from the hundreds of washingtonias in Cali. If there were 1000s of mule palms, then I guess people would get tired of them too after a while.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 11:32PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Bahia,

Loved the pictures of the Pindos!!!

The first pic was a beauty, then i saw the second pic...

Love it!! The contrast of the Jap Maple, phone booth was spectacular!!!

Thats my kind of grouping....

I also like to group my palms into an "island of palms" here in my backyard.. it give it more of a tropical feel to me.

Thanks for the blast of beautiful palms and color on a cold winter day!!!

Very nice!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 12:45AM
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butiaman(8a Douglasville,GA.)

Butia Capitatas are not a specialist palm here.Anyone here can buy a 3gal.for $9 and a 15gal.for $50 here at HD and Lowes every summer.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 1:36AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

They're available at some of the Home Depots here in the SF Bay Area in this price range as well. They aren't stocked as frequently at retail nurseries because they aren't as well known, and they are also somewhat slow. They should be more popular, because they are such a suitable, low water use and hardy palm for California conditions. The smaller sizes and slower growth I think work against them for people who are just looking to buy a cheap palm, and don't know much about them.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

The photos of that garden made me feel like i was looking at my own yard! lol (with the set up that is) narrow strips for planting alongside a shade structure.

Great set up. I love the Aloe Striata in bloom. Mine won't come into bloom for another month or so.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 2:59PM
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