Butia odorata

Species:Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick
Common Name:Jelly Palm
Habitat:Persistent after cultivation and spreading by seed.
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Tree
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Jelly Palm is an introduced fibrous tree-like monocot in the Palm family (Arecaceae). It is native to Brazil and Uruguay. Jelly Palm is widely planted in south Alabama and persists after cultivation or spreads by seed. Jelly Palm has a single stout unbranched trunk growing 10-25 feet in height. Leaves are petiolate, spirally arranged, and pinnate. The leaves are arching and up to 6 feet in length. The petiole is flattened on the upper surface and rounded on the lower surface and has fibers and spines along its margin. There are 30-60 pairs of pinna along the rachis. Flowers are produced in a 3-4-foot-long branched spadix protected by a woody spathe. Male flowers are produced near the base of the spadix and female flowers near the ends. The individual flowers are small and inconspicuous. They are green or yellowish-green in color. The fruit is an orange fleshy drupe with a large stone containing the seed. The fruit is aromatic and the fleshy portion is edible. Fruit taste is variable, somewhat apricot-like and ranges from sweet to sour. The fruit can be eaten fresh or made into jelly or wine. Jelly Palm is widely available from nurseries, and several varieties are commonly sold. It prefers a sunny location with a well-draining soil. Until 2011 this species was lumped with Butia capitata, a more tropical species.—A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:This species was first collected in Alabama by Alvin Diamond in Geneva County in 2015.
Status:Not Native
References:Byrd, T.C. and A.R. Diamond. 2018. New vascular plant records for Alabama. Phytoneuron 2018-5: 1–5.

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyARECACEAE - Palm family
Genus Butia
Species Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick - Jelly Palm


Citation Butia odorata (Barbosa Rodriques) Noblick, Palms 55(1): 48. 2011.
Basionym: Cocos odorata Barb. Rodr. 1891.
Type: **

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Butia capitata var. odorata Butia capitata var. odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Becc., Rev. Hort. 10: 513, t. 5, f. 11, t. 8–9, 10B. 1916. Cocos odorata Barb. Rodr. 1891. 
Cocos odorata Cocos odorata Barb. Rodr., Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 1: 11, t. 4A. 1891.  

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Geneva, Mobile

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: ALNHS, TROY, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
UWAL0032973 Geneva 10 Dec 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
Butia odorata (Barbosa Rodrigues) Noblick
ALNHS00004273 Mobile 25 Aug 2016 Barger, T. Wayne
Butia odorata (Barbosa Rodrigues) Noblick
TROY000043772 Geneva 10 Dec 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
Butia odorata (Barbosa Rodrigues) Noblick
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