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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Jubaea(after Juba, king of Numidia) Palmaceae. The wine palm of Chile, J. spectabilis, which in this country is cultivated outdoors in southern California and in the North under glass.

Jubaea has only 1 species, a tall, unarmed S. American palm: caudex thick, covered with the bases of the sheaths: lvs. terminal, pinnatisect; segms. spreading, linear-lanceolate, rigid; margins recurved; rachis laterally compressed, convex on the back, acute beneath; sheath short, open. Allied genera in cult, are Attalea, Cocos, Maximiliana and Scheelea, which are distinguished chiefly by the staminate fls. In Jubaea the petals are lanceolate; stamens numerous, included, the anther-cells connate: fr. 1-seeded. In Attalea the petals are lanceolate; stamens 10-24, included, anther-cells connate: fr. 2—6-seeded. For distinctions from other genera consult also Cocos, Maximiliana and Scheelea.

Jubaea spectabilis is a handsome and satisfactory palm for the cool palm-house, where it would be treated in common with such plants as Chamaerops humilis, the sabals and Euterpe montana, which may be grown well in a night temperature of 50°, providing the plants are properly established. In general appearance, J. spectabilis reminds one of some kinds of Phoenix, and, like them, does not show the true character of its foliage in a very small state, the seedling jubea producing several simple leaves before developing foliage of the pinnate type. In Jubaea, however, the lower pinnae do not revert to spines, as is usually the case with Phoenix and the pinnae are also arranged irregularly on the midrib, thus giving the fronds a feathery effect. The culture of jubea is by no means difficult, propagation being effected by means of imported seeds, which usually give a fair percentage of germination, providing they are started in a warmhouse and kept moist. The seedlings should be potted as soon as the second leaf appears, and kept in a warmhouse until they are large enough for a 4-inch pot, and from this time forward cooler treatment will give the best results, always remembering the fact that while many palms (and jubea among the number) will bear much neglect, yet the best results are to be had only by giving plenty of nourishment. (W. H. Taplin.)

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Jubaea chilensis
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Jubaea chilensis Hyères gross.jpg
Plant Info
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Liliopsida
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Order: Arecales
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Superfamily: {{{superfamilia}}}
Family: Arecaceae
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Genus: Jubaea
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Species: J. chilensis
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Binomial name
Jubaea chilensis
(Molina) Baill.
Trinomial name
Type Species

Jubaea chilensis (Chilean Wine Palm) is the sole living species in the genus Jubaea in the palm family Arecaceae. It is native to southwestern South America, where it is endemic to a small area of central Chile, between 32°S and 35°S in southern Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Santiago, O'Higgins and northern Maule regions. It was long assumed that the extinct palm tree of Easter Island belonged to this genus too, but it is somewhat more distinct and now placed in its own genus, Paschalococos.

It is a very impressive palm reaching heights of 25 m with a massive trunk up to 1.3 m diameter at the base, often thicker higher up, and with smooth bark. The leaves are pinnate, 3-5 m long. The largest indoor plant in the world is the Jubaea chilensis at Kew, England.

It needs mild winters, but will tolerate frosts down to about −15 °C, making it one of the hardiest of pinnate-leaved palms; it will also tolerate relatively cool summers. In the wild, the tree lives almost exclusively on the steep slopes of ravines.

The common name refers to the past use of the sap from the trunk of this palm to produce a fermented beverage. Unlike most other palm wines, collecting the sap requires cutting down the tree, one reason why this species is now uncommon in the wild. The tree is now protected in Chile to prevent indiscriminate harvesting. The sap is also boiled down into a syrup and sold locally as "Miel de Palma", or Palm Honey. They also produce small round fruits that are about 2-3cm in diameter. The fruit has a very hard outer shell and has a whiteish meat on the inside. The fresh nuts are normally sold in the areas where the palms grow during the fruiting season.

Chilean Wine Palm, Botanic Garden, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile


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