Chilean Wine Palm, Honey Palm or Coquito Palm
The Chilean wine palm, named in honour of Juba, the King of Numidia, has the most southerly distribution of all the American palms. Although native to Chile, it is widely cultivated as an ornamental, for example in the sub-tropical bedding displays of the French Riviera.
The trunk is one of the thickest of all the palms and yields a palm syrup. To extract the syrup, the tree is felled with its crown lying uphill. After the crown is removed sap flows for several months, yielding up to 90 gallons. This sap or palm syrup is either fermented and sold as palm wine or concentrated by boiling to make a treacle for use in local dishes. The round yellow fruits are candied to make sweet-meats and the hard-coated inner nut yields an edible oil. The nuts resemble marbles and are used by local children for that game. Even the pinnate leaves of this spectacular palm are utilised to make baskets.
Find out more
Search Kew's electronic Plant Information Centre for scientific information about Jubaea chilensis