Butia archeri

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Butia (boo-TEE-ah)
archeri (arch-EHR-ee)
San Jose Calif. Photo by Matthew Crowther.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Butia (boo-TEE-ah)
archeri (arch-EHR-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Dwarf Jelly Palm

Habitat and Distribution

Butia archeri is found in Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central.
Southern Brazil. Photo by Ed Brown III.
Native to Brazil in the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Goias, in grassland pastures and cerrados. (S.F. Glassman. 1979)/Palmweb.


Acaulescent, or sometimes with a short trunk up to almost I m high; sheathing leaf base 13-15 cm long; petiole 8-9 cm long and I cm wide, margins not spiny, merely fibrous; rachis of leaf 66-72 cm long; pinnae 28-44 on each side, regularly arranged, middle ones 36-40 cm long, 0.8-1.3 cm wide, mostly with acuminate, asymmetrical tips; expanded part of spathe 30-39 cm long, 3 cm wide, smooth or striate, glaucous, peduncular part 30 cm long; branched part of spadix 20-30 cm long, rachillae 15-31, each 10-19 cm long, peduncular part of spadix 36 cm long; pistillate flowers rounded or ovoid, 4-7 mm long, 4-6 mm in diam., sepals and petals with obtuse tips; staminate flowers 5-7 mm long on lower part of rachilla, 3-5 mm long on upper part; mature fruit 1.82.0 cm long, 1.0-1.4 cm in diam., short. beaked, persistent perianth 8-10 mm high, endocarp woody, 1-1.5 mm thick, locules 1-2; seed (when single) irregularly globose, 7-9 mm long and 7-9 mm in diam., or when two are present flattened laterally, 10 mm long, 6 mm in diam. (S.F. Glassman. 1979)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

This taxon can be easily distinguished from other acaulescent species of Butia (e.g., B. arenicola and B. paraguayensis) by its smooth rather than dentate petiole margins; and from B. microspadix by the more or less glabrous rather than densely tomentose spathes. (S.F. Glassman. 1979)/Palmweb.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 9a

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Comments and Curiosities

A very rare and beautiful small palm from Goias, Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, Southern Brazil, where it grows in Cerrado vegetation in open grasslands. The trunks rarely reach 1m tall, the palms having distinctive arching leaves. The palm is almost unknown in cultivation. This palm is new to cultivation, so its hardiness is unknown, but is likely to show considerable cold resistance like the remainder of its genus. It is almost extinct in habitat. (butia.nl).

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Glassman, S.F.1979. Re-evaluation of the Genus Butia With a Description of a New Species. Principes 23: 65-79.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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